network security

Blackmail software reports an average increase of 171% in ransom payments in 2021 From Palo Alto Networks

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Security experts from Palo Alto networks recently published the “blackmail report 2021”, tracking and investigating blackmail attacks by institutions in North America and Europe. In the data found by the researchers, the average ransom paid by victims to unlock their network decryption key increased 171% last year.

Unit 42, the global threat intelligence team of paytop network, pointed out in the report: “the average ransom paid by institutions increased from $115123 in 2019 to $312493 in 2020, with a year-on-year increase of 171%. In addition, the maximum ransom paid by the organization doubled from 2019 to 2020, from $5 million to $10 million. “. Cyber criminals have become increasingly greedy, the report said.

From 2015 to 2019, the maximum ransom requirement for blackmail software is $15 million. But in 2020, while the world is still recovering from the public health and financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the highest demand for blackmail software will grow to $30 million.

It is worth noting that the average ransom of maze blackmail software in 2020 is US $4.8 million, which is a significant increase compared with the average ransom of all blackmail software in 2020 of US $847344. Cybercriminals know that they can make money through blackmail software, and they are becoming more and more bold in asking for ransom.

Common blackmail software attacks include blackmail software operators encrypting data and forcing victims to pay ransom to unlock data. In double blackmail, blackmail software operators will encrypt and steal data to further coerce victims to pay ransom. If they don’t pay, blackmail software operators will publish data to leaked websites or dark networks. Most data leaked websites are hosted in dark networks, and these hosting sites are created and managed by blackmail software operators.

Under COVID-19, the medical industry has become the biggest target of blackmail software this year. The outlaws learned that the medical institutions needed to continue to operate to treat the new crown patients and could not bear the consequences of the system being locked, so they attacked through blackmail software. Ransomware Ryuk is especially rampant among many ransomware.

The most used blackmail software is netwalker. From January 2020 to January 2021, netwalker leaked the data of 113 victimized enterprises around the world (see the figure below), far more than other blackmail software. Ragnalocker ranked second, leaking data from 26 companies around the world. It is worth mentioning that in January 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would coordinate international law enforcement actions to dismantle the netwalker blackmail software gang. The domain name of the dark network managed by the netwalker operator, which hosts the leaked data, is no longer accessible.

The picture is from unit 42, global threat intelligence team of paytop network

Finally, the report puts forward three suggestions, which are initial entry, backup and recovery process and security monitoring.

In terms of initial entry, it is suggested that enterprise users should maintain awareness and training of e-mail security, and identify and remedy malicious e-mail immediately after it enters the mailbox. Secondly, enterprises should carry out appropriate repair management, and review which services may be exposed to the Internet. Furthermore, remote desktop services should be properly configured and secure, use the minimum license as far as possible, and formulate strategies to deal with blackmail software.

In terms of backup and recovery process, enterprises need to back up data and plan appropriate recovery process in advance. Enterprises should ensure that all the backups are saved safely offline. Moreover, it is necessary to implement and exercise the recovery process with key stakeholders, so as to shorten the downtime and reduce the loss of the enterprise as much as possible in case of blackmail software attack.

In terms of security monitoring, the most effective forms of blackmail prevention software are endpoint security, URL filtering or web security, advanced threat defense (unknown threat / sandbox) and anti phishing solutions deployed to all enterprise environments and devices. These methods can reduce the risk of online blackmail, and bring stopgap measures.

How to view the development of network security channel in 2021 Palo Alto networks Networks:Twitter Enterprise usage increases by 250% in half a year Wannacry still tops the list Lumu: the impact of blackmail software in 2020 and the cost of enterprises’ response Blackmail accounts for 41% of all online insurance claims in the first half of 2020

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