Cybercriminals Turning Bullies; Ransomware the Latest Weapon of Torture

In the current threat landscape, ransomware attackers not only encrypt your data but also steal it. This suggests that falling victim to ransomware attacks has become more dangerous than ever.

What’s going on?

Getting locked out of your network is damaging enough but leaked data can create additional problems for an organization. The stolen data is used as leverage, in an attempt to bully organizations into paying up the demanded ransom. This means that companies hit by ransomware are obligated to pay the ransomware operators instead of restoring the network themselves otherwise, the stolen data will be leaked.

Some statistics your way

  • Threat actor groups, such as REvil and Maze, have already taken this step. This has led to one in ten attacks followed by blackmail after extortion.
  • The healthcare, financial, and legal sectors are the most affected since they have the most sensitive information.
  • Between January 1st and June 30th, 2020, Emsisoft researchers spotted 11,642 instances of ransomware attackers stealing data after encrypting networks.

Also know

  • Most of the modern ransomware families have the capability of exfiltrating data. While some actors like to be conspicuous about it, others carry out the activity covertly.
  • Even if an organization's network can be restored without paying the hackers, the leaked data not only damages the reputation of the brand, but also causes problems with customers and regulators.
  • According to experts, encryption and exfiltration attacks are likely to rise and the associated costs are going to get graver.

The takeaway

The bottom line is that it is possible to avoid falling victim to such vicious crimes by improving the overall cybersecurity hygiene. Moreover, it is imperative that an organization has a plan in case their network and data are compromised by a ransomware attack.