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FBI Warning: Networked Ransomware

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According to the FBI, the instances of ransomware attacks are on the rise. After issuing a warning to agencies and contractors of cyber-attacks where ransomers take control of whole networks, it’s clear they believe that it’s only going to get worse.

Stepping up their game from infecting and taking over a victims computer with ransomware, then locking them out of their files until the hackers are paid money, cybercriminals are now spreading this technique across whole networks. Once inside a network, hackers are able to seek out and delete that network’s backups leaving victims with no option other than to pay a ransom.

The FBI sends out statements like these in order to warn other agencies or contractors ahead of imminent cyberattacks. Using a recent attack that involved MISL/Samas.A as an example, they pointed to the ease of access to the tools required and the potential for high profit as key factors in the upswing.

Aside from the MISL/Samas.A attack the FBI mentioned there have been several other recent largescale ransomware attacks, including on in which an Ottawa hospital paid hackers $17,000 in order regain control of their system. Another involved tactics associated with ones used by the Chinese government where criminals took over the networks of three different companies, infecting over 100 computers each.

Within the FBI document are several common sense pieces of advice. First and foremost, be on the lookout for suspicious emails, particularly ones with sketchy links. Make sure your software is up to date, so that thieves have a more difficult time getting in your system. Finally, keep an offline backup of your files so that if someone does invade your network, they can’t delete your backups.

If think your network might be at risk of being taken advantage of by ransomware, download the free Ransom Protection Checklist or sign up to receive it by mail. You can also schedule a free 10 minute Ransomware Safety Review.