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There is a new threat of cybersecurity on the horizon, as cyber-attackers aren’t just encrypting data for ransoms, but may threaten to publish it for ransom payments, security experts warn.
From the sharp rise of cyber-attacks in recent years, internet users have learned to be wary. However, this has been met with the vicious growth of various techniques of cyber-attacks, which are becoming smarter and smarter. This new tactic will be sure to scare some in to paying up!
Cyber-attackers aren’t just encrypting your data, they’re also threatening to leak it online. The risk with data leaks are much higher as the publication of personal information on the World Wide Web could have serious consequences for the victims.
The Chief Operating Officer of Dunbar Security Solutions, Chris Ensey, is aware of the new threat, and states that ransomware scammers aren’t just encrypting files so that it prevents access to users, but they’re using a malware called doxware, which could leak potentially sensitive files to the public if the ransom isn’t paid. This clever strategy cyber-attackers have come up with is a part of efforts to increase the chances of a ransom being paid.
Mr Ensey notes that the change in tactics has only come about in recent months. We can perhaps have some peace of mind in the fact that Dunbar Security has yet to see malware make good threats of leaking data, but this could be due to the fact that leaking data can be more difficult than encrypting it on a victims’ computer.
The advice of cybersecurity experts has always been to regularly back up data in the event of a cyber-hack to allow people to restore their systems if they were encrypted. However, that may not be of any use if cyber-attackers are leaking the data.
This new trend sends out a message to companies and organisations to ‘up their security game’ and the question posed is how they should isolate personal data from ransomware. A security expert comments that companies must make it difficult for ransomware to even access any personal information at all, which could involve a comprehensive review of their existing cybersecurity, and, I suspect, a lot of time and monetary resources being used.
Other ransomware techniques have gotten increasingly forceful as cyber-attackers may delete the data rather than keeping them encrypted if victims don’t pay quickly enough. But this is reportedly rare, and the increasing danger is cyber-attackers leaking the data. Once data is leaked, it can be difficult or even impossible to remove it from the internet.
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