The threat intelligence experts in our security operations center (SOC) are back with another Armor Threat Intelligence Briefing. As with every month, they’ve compiled the latest research, insights and actionable intel to help you stay informed and protected against advanced persistent threats.

Here’s a preview of our October edition of the Armor Threat Intelligence Briefing:

Ransomware is Here to Stay

Proving its staying power, ransomware continues to generate headlines – and victims – at an alarming rate.

Recent research indicates that this rise might be related to the shrinking price and commoditization of “do-it-yourself” ransomware kits on the Dark Web. (Research found a median price $10.50, less than the cost of a dinner for one at a mid-range restaurant). These “bargain bin” tools are becoming increasingly user-friendly and intuitive to the point that malicious actors need only download and run the malware. No technical knowledge required.

The research also points to another potential cause of ransomware’s growth, advancements in cryptocurrency, making it easier to collect ransom payments. Likewise, improvements in traffic anonymization have enabled novices to carry out a ransomware attack.

Lastly, ransomware’s steady uptick can also be attributed to the fact that it’s profitable. So long as companies are willing to pay up for their encrypted data, threat actors will rely heavily on this pernicious malware.

That’s why Armor, as well as the FBI, recommend never paying the ransom (it’s also why proper data backup processes are a must – as we covered in the February 2017 edition.)

Based on this research, we can assume that there isn’t just one factor propelling the growth of ransomware. No, but one thing is certain: it’s a matter of when, not if, a game-changing ransomware attack will occur. Now, more than ever, an understanding the importance of cyber security is a must for everyone – regardless of their involvement in an organization’s security strategy.

 

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