The hackers spreading ransomware are getting greedier! In 2016, the average ransom demand to free computers hit with the infection rose to £835, up from £225 the year before, according to security firm Symantec.

“Attackers clearly think that there’s more to be squeezed from victims,” Symantec said in a report.

In addition, the security firm has been detecting more ransomware infection attempts. In 2016, the figure jumped by 36 percent from the year prior.

“More and more attackers are now jumping on the ransomware bandwagon and creating new ransomware families or modifying existing ones,” the security firm said. Helping to fuel the ransomware boom is the digital black market, where hackers can sell ransomware kits for as little as £8, making it easier for other cyber criminals to join in.

Cyber criminals will often bundle their emails with attachments that can secretly download the ransomware onto a computer, if the emails are opened. “In many cases, the victim would receive a spam email designed to appear like an invoice or receipt from a company,” Symantec said.

 

Apponotec Advise:

  • It is always best to delete any suspicious-looking emails, especially those that contain attachments or any links and emails from strange email addresses.
  • Ensure all PCs and servers on your network have an activated and fully functional version of Antivirus. Both Sophos and Trend Micro (who Apponotec are partnered with) have released recent updates that include additional monitoring and blocking which will help to prevent infections of ransomware. Please contact Apponotec if you’d like to find out more about the Antivirus you currently have installed.
  • To help prevent infections, keep all computers, servers, network hardware and software up to date.
  • All public facing servers such as hosted websites and web based applications should be patched and running the latest version supplied by the software manufacturer. It is possible for hackers spread ransomware by compromising a server through an unpatched vulnerability.

 

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