Paying Ransom Makes One More Susceptible To Attack: Report

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 09, 2017

cyber crime

As cyber-crime is becoming more and more commonplace, meeting hackers’ demands does not relieve one from further cyber-attacks, security firm McAfee said, and further informed that giving in to the cyber criminal’s demands in silence while not alerting cybersecurity authorities will instead make one prone to being targeted in the future, as per a report on Business Standard.

Enterprises today, on an average, face 244 new cyber threats every minute globally.

“We saw new ransomware samples increase 80 percent since the beginning of 2016. The attacks have been a wake-up call which has also forced executives to deliberate the question of whether they should pay ransom or not,” Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee, told IANS in an interview.

“Meeting hackers’ demands will not necessarily guarantee compliance from the hackers. In many cases, the likelihood of receiving decryption keys is almost nil. What is certain, however, is that victims who pay will be recognized as willing to pay, making them a preferred target in the future,” Ramamoorthy emphasized.

McAfee saw 25 threats a day, ten years ago. Today the number has increased to about 500,000 daily, he added.

“India is one of the fastest-growing markets for McAfee in the APAC region. McAfee in India has partnered with approximately 49 percent of ET 500 firms and aim to cover 60 percent — with an overall target to increase the customer base by 20 percent,” Ramamoorthy said.

“In 2016, ‘Locky’ ransomware infected millions of users worldwide, primarily through malicious attachments in spam emails. To become more agile, the malware changed what extension is appended to encrypted files and utilised the ‘.locky’, ‘.zepto’, and ‘.odin’ extensions across unique instances,” added Ramamoorthy.

“Fast forward to 2017 and ransomware is back on the scene — equipped with two variants that leverage either the ‘.Diablo6′ or ‘.Lukitus’ extension for encrypting files and are demanding a ransom of .49 Bitcoins (nearly $1,900 or Rs 1.2 lakh) for the decryption key to unlock the infected files,” pointed out Ramamoorthy.

Security considerations have to be taken ahead by design and should not be considered as a bolt at a later stage.

“The need of the hour is to make cybersecurity an unavoidable pattern in the IT infrastructure of our country,” he said.