Web-hosting firm Nayana pays to unlock frozen computers.
The cybersecurity industry has tracked a sizeable increase in the number of ransomware attacks in the past year, ones that have hit both private consumers and businesses alike. Part of the reason for the increase has been attributed to their effectiveness; depending on your industry, you might be willing to pay a hefty fee in order to retrieve your files, restore access to your network, and avoid penalties for a possible data breach.
Medical industry hit hard
The medical industry in the US has been a prime example. Multiple hospitals and facilities have been hit hard by attacks that effectively halt all patient care, which could lead to lawsuits. At the same time, the threat of dumping patients’ medical records on the internet can make the ransom seem like a pittance in comparison to the penalties for the HIPAA violations the hospital would face for each exposed record.
But a new record has been set for ransomware. Nayana, a South Korean web hosting firm, has now paid one million dollars to unlock their customers’ computers. This amount came after negotiating the original demand down from over four million dollars.
Interestingly, ransomware attacks on businesses are relatively new in comparison to the attacks on individual tech users. Originally, hackers perceived that individuals or small mom-and-pop businesses would have less effective (cheaper) security protocols in place. Thanks to one of the mainstream methods of infecting a network with ransomware, namely spoofing and phishing variations, businesses of any size can now become victims. That means a bigger payday for the hackers.
Back up and be secure
At the most basic level, apart from strong anti-virus protection that can block an infection in real-time, consumers are urged to backup all of their files and data on the offchance that their only recourse is to choose between paying a ransom or simply buying a new computer. The backed up information will be helpful if there’s really no choice there.
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