Cyber Security Awareness Series – Ransomware

Ransomware is a dangerous type of malware used by malicious actors to take control of a device, restricting access unless a ransom is paid. Individuals are inclined to pay any amount to recover these valuable files and avoid the devastation of this type of loss.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a dangerous type of malware used by malicious actors to take control of a device, restricting access unless a ransom is paid.  No one is immune to such attacks; in fact, targeted users include private individuals, small to large corporations and even municipalities. Ransomware can cause panic, and many individuals fall victim to paying the ransom in order to protect their personal files, including family photos, videos, and confidential data. Individuals are inclined to pay any amount to recover these valuable files and avoid the devastation of this type of loss.

 

Ransomware Attacks 

  • May, 2017. The “WannaCry Ransomware Attack” was like a worm because it would spread from device to device attempting to infect as many potential users as possible. It would lock down Microsoft Windows devices, encrypting the user’s data and demanding a ransom to unlock it.
  • August, 2019. In Texas, 22 different municipalities have been affected by ransomware attacks and in one instance, attackers have required $2.5 million to unlock the town’s files.
  • December, 2019. New Orleans declared a state of emergency due to a ransomware attack that targeted the city. Mayor LaToya Cantrell expects the cost of the attack will exceed the $3 million in cyber insurance coverage and will be attempting to increase it to $10 million in 2020.

Protect Against Ransomware

Ransomware is a very real and growing threat in the continuously expanding world of the Internet. Criminals are constantly finding new vulnerabilities to exploit on individuals and organizations to cause harm and generate profit. We encourage you to visit one of the sites below to learn more about ransomware and how to protect your computer and other devices.

 

Protect your Windows PC from Ransomware                     What Is Malware on Mac

 

  • This material is provided for illustrative/educational purposes only. This material is not intended to constitute legal, tax, investment or financial advice. Effort has been made to ensure that the material presented herein is accurate at the time of publication. However, this material is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area or of all of the tax, investment or financial options available.