First world countries are the primary target of Ransomwares

This year security researchers has discovered an immense increase in Ransomware attacks on businesses (regardless of their sizes) in Britain, USA, Canada, Australia and many other European nations. In Britain the number of ransomware attacks in first three months has been doubled when you compare it from last year. According to a research by cyber security firm Trend Micro, “January and February 2016’s combined figure is more than triple the infection count for the whole of the first quarter of 2015”.

Almost every developed nation around the world are facing a severe ransomware threat in 2016. In the first three months, the increase in ransomware attacks are so threatening that U.S and Canadian governments has issued alerts to their citizens about these ransomware attacks. Both countries issued these warnings after the researchers predicted the ransomware crisis will worsen as the year passes; because only few businesses have taken proper steps towards securing themselves from ransomware attacks.

Due to the lack of security measures U.S hospitals are the latest sector of America which fell victim to these ransomware attacks. A recent study revealed this week that around 52 percent of U.S hospitals were infected with malicious software’s according to a study by The Health Information Trust Alliance. It further said that U.S hospitals should brace for a rise in ransomware attacks. The non – profit healthcare organization further added that; these ransomware attacks are going to be so devastating that U.S hospitals will have to accept attackers demands in order to regain access of their computer networks.

After the latest attack on MedStar Georgetown University Hospital this week, the FBI has provided the citizens some cyber safety tips. MedStar has suffered a devastating malware attack this Monday which has taken down the hospitals information technology systems. MedStar officials hasn’t yet confirmed weather the attack is an example of ransomware, but the patients data of has been compromised. The computer systems of MedStar’s 10 hospitals hasn’t yet restored to 100 percent after the devastating malware attack.

Jeffrey Coburn FBI Cyberdivison unit chief told; “In one case, a Los Angeles hospital paid $17,000. The FBItells users not to pay the ransoms.” Jeffrey Cobrun further added; “When you pay ransoms, you are continuing their business model. You are encouraging them to do this fraud.”

Fox IT a malware research firm discovered a ransomware family (Cryptowall, CryptoLocker, TorrentLocker) last year, whose members has generated some huge incomes. The attacks of these three malwares has happened in similar patterns and have affected mostly first world countries; mainly through exploit kits and fake emails posing as official organizations.

Security researchers are creating the solutions to remove ransomwares malware, and to some extent they seems successful, but this success will not last longer because of the social engineering techniques adopted by the hackers.

Irfan Shakeel
irfan shakeel, the founder of ehacking project, he also hosts classes at eh academy. he has found many vulnerabilities in the world’s known platforms, he has been providing it security training since 2010. you might have read his articles and opinion on ibm developers, infosec institute, alienvault, eh academy and other known blogs. follow him on twitter, linkedin and quora.

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