Received a phishing email lately?
If we were in a classroom the majority of you would probably raise their hands.
Let’s take it one step further. Have you received a phishing email with ransomware embedded into its link? And then accidentally clicked on it? (oops!)
As a quick reminder, “Ransomware” is an aggressive form of malware that locks your computer and mobile devices and encrypts your electronic files. When this happens, you can’t get to the data unless you pay a ransom.
City Governments and large businesses are generally first in line for this type of cyber-warfare. Why? Because it pays.
Surveys show businesses lose around $2,500 per incident, but some are willing to pay their captors up to and over a million dollars to regain access to their data. In 2018 the largest sum a company paid out was over $930,000. So far the largest attack in 2019 had Baltimore City Government crippled for over a month leaving the cost to recover at over $18 million dollars, when the ransomware demand was only $76,000.
With ransomware now moving at an alarming rate to target small and medium size businesses, there’s been a rise in cybersecurity initiatives taken by companies to keep their information safe. One of these initiatives is “The No More Ransom Project”. This project allows users infected with certain types of ransomware (not all, but they update info daily) to gain access to “keys” which are decryption tools needed to shut down the malware and gain access to their data.
The project has currently prevented cyber-thief’s and “ransomware gangs” from an estimated $108 million dollars in stolen profit since its initial launch three years ago. #SUCCESS
The No More Ransom Project boasts 82 tools which can decrypt 109 different strains of ransomware. Antivirus makers and online communities have created and shared these decryption tools, and The No More Ransom Project has combined and listed them all for the holy grail of ransomware decryption.
They do note on their website that not all ransomware currently has a solution, and hackers are relentless in their scheming to create new ways to lock down your data and take your hard-earned money. So we, as end users, still need to be vigilant about what we click on and make sure our data is properly stored and secured.
The No More Ransomware Project deserves a round of applause.