The Era of Ransomware has arrived – how to stay safe with new attacks hitting every month (Update)

Era of Ransomware

You come to the office, turn on your computer and see this: “We have all your files and will destroy them unless you pay”. What do you do?

Ransomware (acronis.com) is getting more and more notorious. These days almost everyone is aware of it. While the increased awareness level is a good thing, research show most people learn it through these 3 ways: heard of a major outbreak in the news, were hit themselves or personally know someone who was hit.

May 12th and June 28th, 2017 – history will remember the unprecedented ransomware outbreaks that stalled critical infrastructures and disrupted production processes worldwide. But was it for money or was it just to damage the companies and innocent people?

“Am I a target?” Yes, you are.

If you think you are out of danger just because you are not a businessman or billionaire, then you might be one of the victims of Ransomware anytime. Ransomware not only affect you by asking you to pay but also to steal your personal data. Your occupation, wealth, citizenship, employment status – they don’t care. As long as you own a computer with personal files stored on it, you’re vulnerable.

WannaCry Ransomware hunts via email, social media and forged website, searching out for users who don’t install the latest updates, and sell your personal info on the black market – ransomware is turning into a deeply criminal underground industry, with its key players extremely hard to track down. There’s no manual anymore, no top-3 things to look out for. You have to be paying attention to the links you open and to the addresses you get emails from, you have to install the latest OS updates and patches, you must never open an attachment from an unchecked source, and for the love of sanity, you must do backup.

No, not all of them want your money

True, not all cyber criminals are after your money – some of them just want to cause trouble for your business, which is believed to be the main motive for the most recent Petya ransomware attack. But if you think you’re out of danger just because you’re not a millionaire or because you haven’t done anything to infuriate anyone… Remember that according to the latest global stats, an individual is now attacked every 10 seconds, while a business is attacked every 40 seconds. So how long do you think it will take before it reaches you? And are you sure your files are safe when it does?

 

“Is my information sold?”

Ransomware is turning into a deeply criminal underground industry, users who don’t install the latest updates in their windows system will be the targeted through email, social media and forged websites. Ransomware is nothing new. Cybersecurity miscreants have been taking advantage of online users for years by requiring payment to “unlock” a victim’s computer. Your personal information might be sold to the back market if you do not pay the ransom.

Reference: An Article on How Much Money Did The WannaCry Authors Make?  thesslstore.com

 

How do you defend yourself?

“Not clicking on any suspicious emails and links – will that keep me safe?” No.

Because then you’d still have no mechanism to restore your data in case you do lose it. The main trick here is in protecting your data against ransomware in all its forms, by utilizing the technology that allows not only ransomware detection, but also automated restoration of any ransomware-encrypted data after the attack.

Most anti-ransomware solutions can only detect ransomware. Several of them stop it, though only the very few have the capacity to fully restore your encrypted files from backup (when others do it, the capacity is limited to the available cache size). But the Acronis backup solutions with built-in Acronis Active Protection™ are designed to do just that — backup and restore data without any limitation.

 

Backup is always the best security strategies to prevent virus!


According to IT security services company LGMS, the first case in Malaysia involved a director of one of its clients who came across the dreaded ransomware on his personal laptop on Saturday morning.

LGMS founder C.F. Fong said the data in the laptop had to be erased as the person did not intend to pay the US$300 (RM1,300). The same ransomware appeared in the machine of an automotive shop on Sunday morning.

“The company didn’t have any backup and might pay (the ransom),” said Fong

If you need to learn more about how to avoid running into ransomware and backup your data and information while you’re online, give our professional consultants a call. We’ll try our best to keep your computer and information safe.

Full Article: WannaCry strikes two Malaysian companies. thestar.com

 

Does Exabytes provide any backup solution?

Yes, Exabytes Provides the Very Effective 2nd Life Cloud Backup Solution.

Exabytes 2nd Life Cloud Backup is an advanced ransomware protection technology, a key part of Acronis True Image and Acronis Backup 12.5 (currently available as a Windows-only feature, Mac version already under development). It extends the functionality of backup by actively defending business data and protecting backup copies that ransomware tries to destroy.

It constantly looks for patterns in how data files are being changed on a computer. One set of behaviors may be typical and expected. Another set of behaviors may signal a suspect process taking hostile action against files. Acronis Active Protection stops the malicious behavior and instantly restores any ransomware-encrypted files, helping businesses to avoid restoring backups and enjoy significantly reduced Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives (RPO and RTOs).

Acronis Active Protection is capable of detecting new threats based on already identified patterns as well as learned ones. Results must be adjusted to reduce false positive detection of things that really aren’t ransomware. Acronis Active Protection maintains a whitelist—programs that are allowed and expected to perform certain actions—to prevent authorized activities from being falsely tagged as unauthorized.

We do provide a few options for our 2nd Life Cloud Backup:

  1. Cloud Backup For Server 
  2. Cloud Backup For Virtual Machine
  3. Cloud Backup For Workstation (Window PC)

 

What we have learn from WannaCry and Petya Attacks of 2017?


We learned that traditional data security solutions are incapable of protecting devices against zero-day cyber attacks. Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to infect computers, and WannaCry and Petya are clear examples of what is about to come. Backup is the only reliable way to restore affected data, but you need to ensure that backup files are also protected from such attacks.

Use up-to-date software

The WannaCry attack could’ve been prevented had the users installed the latest Microsoft update which fixed the particular vulnerability that those hackers went after. Petya was a far more devious creation, attacking the patched computers as well. Still, always pay extra attention to OS updates.

Regular backup is a MUST

While the updates protect you from a particular rising threat, a regularly performed backup is your defense against anything trifling with your data. Be sure to follow the 3-2-1 rule: have at least 3 copies of your data, 2 of which are local, but on different devices and at least 1 copy offsite.

 

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