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The Rise and Rise of Encrypted Attacks, Ransomware, and … Watch Out for Rebate, Claim and Debt

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In our lab, we focus a good deal on the benefits of cryptography, and in its usage in security, identity, integrity and trust. But, the great defender has also become a mighty attacker and Cloaker. And so, we are faced with the rise of ransomware as the blunt instrument of choice in creating the opportunity to gain financial benefits within cybercrime. In their latest research, SonicWall [here] predict that ransomware attacks have risen by 105% within 2021, with over 623 million ransomware attacks:

Ref: here

But, it is encrypted threats that show the greatest rise, and where encryption is being used to subvert security controls. The major ransomware incidents reported in 2021 included JBS Foods (the world’s largest meat producer) and the Colonial Pipeline attacks. SonicWall say that 2021 is a turning point in the evolution of ransomware, and where supply chains were targeted. Unfortunately, quite a few ransomware attacks have resulted in the companies paying a considerable ransom, and the fees for this continue to rise. For example, JBS Foods paid around $11 million to gain access to the required decryption key.

Still spear phishing …

As in many cases, the fear of targetted phishing attacks is the major concern for many in the industry, but data breaches (typically around customer data and emails) and ransomware attacks also provide significant levels of concern:

Ref: here

Overall, SonicWall discovered that around 60% of organisations who had had a data breach, did not know they were under threat before the breach was discovered.

The same old story …

A rather depressing statistic that SonicWall discovered was that 80% of the Top 10 exploited vulnerabilities were carried over from previous years. This is disappointing as one would assume that good patching regimes would overcome many previously known…

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Prof Bill Buchanan OBE
ASecuritySite: When Bob Met Alice

Professor of Cryptography. Serial innovator. Believer in fairness, justice & freedom. Based in Edinburgh. Old World Breaker. New World Creator. Building trust.