The great success of ransomware

In our previous blog, we touched on how to guard against ransomware when it comes to static data. But why is ransomware such a big danger and is it currently taking off?

Viruses and phishing

Not so long ago, we were dealing almost exclusively with viruses. Annoying things that could disrupt your computer. Apart from the cost of a good virus scanner, initially there were usually no further financial consequences. That already changed with the advent of phishing. Malicious actors tried to trick you out of your bank, credit card and/or debit card information via sometimes insidiously well-crafted emails. By now, most people are well aware that you should never reveal this kind of data. The target population is relatively small, but the data do have a market value for other parties. Phishing is a highly targeted attack. Still, it had its best days. It’s different with ransomware.

Everything and everyone

In fact, ransomware targets anything and everything. Data rendered inoperable need not necessarily be financial or privacy-sensitive data or data with market value. Digital photos have no market value, but they do have a personal value: the owner may be willing to pay money to get those photos back into his possession. And that’s why ransomware is such a success: the target audience is huge, everyone is a potential victim. The same goes for data: everything is basically subject to hostage taking. The economic value of data is not the same as the ransom you might be willing to pay. This is exactly what makes ransomware such a success. Those wishing to pay ransom must do so in untraceable bitcoins. Completely anonymous and then just hope that the hostage taker is indeed willing to release your information. That is not guaranteed.

Secure system

Static data that is near or unchanged can be stored securely. Do this linearly, so you can always go back to a point in time when the ransomware was not yet active. The same certainly applies to archival data: these are the very data you don’t want to lose and, moreover, are often not reproducible. True, many individuals do not have access to the solutions we can offer. But regularly saving data to a CD or DVD and checking it occasionally certainly can’t hurt.

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