The Rise of Increasingly Sophisticated Ransomware
As ransomware becomes increasingly sophisticated and increasingly prevalent, more people are reporting encounters than ever before.
Ransomware, a malicious software that blocks access to users’ data until a ransom is paid, is targeting more people than ever, despite growing awareness of this hacking technique. If you believe that a ransomware virus may be lurking in your phone, or if you’re looking to take a preventative measure, run a Full Virus Scan on your device. This feature will search both your phone and SD card for malware. Click here to scan your phone for hidden threats:
Reports of ransomware have jumped in recent years. The number of ransomware reports has grown from 2.3 million to 2.6 million just within the last year — an 11.4% jump. Within the first quarter of 2017, mobile ransomware incidents spiked dramatically, up 253% from the previous quarter. During the past three years, the various strains of ransomware have tripled as hackers have realized their lucrative benefits.
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Recently, the WannaCry strain of ransomware attacked a total of 150 countries. Victims of this sophisticated attack included Russia’s interior ministry and Britain’s National Health Service; they were all ordered to pay a ransom amount in Bitcoin. Later studies uncovered that all victims were Windows users who had failed to update their software.
For mobile users, the most common form of ransomware is the “Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Fusob.h” which requests administrator privileges and collects information from the device to upload to a malicious server. This server then determines the device’s worth and blocks device use in order to extort a profit.
As hackers recognize ransomware as a significant source of revenue, their methods and targets are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Oftentimes, scammers will target high-value individuals or systems in an effort to generate the highest returns per victim. Ransomware vendors are also starting to provide ransomware customer support lines to facilitate the exchange of data for payments. As these levels of sophistication increase, future ransomware attacks may develop the ability to evade detection through limited CPU usage, and use self-replication within organizations in order to carry out coordinated ransom attacks.
How to Protect Your Devices
To avoid the danger of losing your private data to a ransomware attack, make sure to backup your phone data regularly, and keep your Android and network software updated. Oftentimes, ransomware is spread through infected emails, so be sure to approach email attachments or messages from strangers with caution, and ensure your antivirus software comes with anti-phishing to block links if you click on a malicious link by accident.
If you are a victim of a ransomware attack, make sure to report the incident to law enforcement, as these attacks are often criminal offenses.