Beware: Ransomware is Now Expected to Evolve into Self-Propagating CryptoWorms
There is no doubt about the fact that ransomware is most nasty malware that has been created to encrypt data and holds all its files hostage for ransom, whenever it attacks the Computer. To make the matter even worst, hackers have went a step further and have used morphing technology for creation of Cryptoworms. This is a new variety of Ransomware which can not only encrypt the data files but also undergoes self propagation to spread its infection from compromised PC to a healthy one. Thus it works in a similar way as Computer worms does replicating itself. Thus it can be deadly since it requires no manual intervention for attacking or targeting different Computers connected over a network.
This is quite grim situation where Big Firms and MNC Companies can be targeted by Cryptoworms. As this has been claimed by Cisco’s Security Experts that next more deadly attack is yet to come as potential threats viz Cryptoworm will be morphed as Ransomware. If you go through Cisco’s Hypothesis, it is clearly stated that hackers are planning to use Software with modular design to encrypt data and attack system with Cryptoworm Ransomware. Even if one strategy fails, different function can be applied. Executable files are most vulnerable that can be encrypted. Further all programs related to auto run features, remote drives can also be used if found to be having some kind of security loopholes.
As far as its distribution of semi autonomous Cryptoworms are concerned, it will make every loophole count for targeting system like via spam emails, using social engineering tricks with minimum manual intervention. It will truly make lives hell using the same strategy as botnets and worms for propagating itself. With the ever growing problem of Ransomware as most nasty malware, several cases have been reported. Recently a case has been highlighted of a hospital situated at Southern California which was gripped by Locky Ransomware attack. Eventually it had to pay as much as $17000 as ransom for getting its files restored. It was reported by one of the Staff of hospital’s IT Sector in early Feb this year. Since the database and all its files were badly encrypted. Finding no other way initially, major departments bearing the records were shut down for temporary basis. All the registration process and medical reports were processed using fax services. Even some of the patients and clients were requested to resort to some other Hospitals. Thus the Hospital administration decided to pay the ransom amount to decrypt and restore the records.
With increase of so many instances of Ransomware attack, stress must be given for creating a backup of the entire database. Some of the ransom virus are so nasty that there are hardly any scope for decrypting of the data. The main motive of hackers is crystal clear to target maximum number of computers and make users pay for their precious data which they can’t afford to lose at any cost. So if some stern measures are not taken to make your system stay protected, you might be ending up as a victim of data sabotage by these Ransomware and malware and will have to cough up hard earned money to hacker’s kitty.