Attacks/Breaches

6/28/2017
01:53 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Half of Ransomware Victims Suffer Repeat Attacks

Half of ransomware victims are likely to get hit again as threat actors change their strategies to target servers and accelerate the spread of ransomware.

Half of ransomware victims have been hit with attacks multiple times. Most (82%) of organizations believe ransomware attacks are on the rise.

These findings come from security firm Druva, which surveyed 832 IT pros across the globe to learn about their current responses to, and predictions for, ransomware attacks. Its Annual Ransomware Report shows this threat is evolving faster than businesses can keep up.

It's worth noting this data was consistent across businesses of all sizes and all are struggling with the same issues. Half of organizations surveyed had more than 1,000 employees, 31% had 1,000-10,000 employees, and 19% had more than 10,000 employees.

It's getting harder to prepare for attacks as threat actors adopt more advanced tactics. This week's global ransomware outbreak, the second of its scale in the last two months, has proven more professional and harder to stop than the WannaCry attack in May.

"What we see is, a lot of businesses are caught in the headlights," says Dave Packer, Druva VP of corporate and product marketing, who led the research for Druva's report. "Their ability to reach and build out proper protection infrastructure is being compromised by rapid morphing of ransomware attacks."

It's critical for IT teams to detect potential attacks as quickly as possible, yet researchers found about 40% of the time, more than two hours pass before IT becomes aware of the problem.

Sometimes this is because the ransomware was delivered through the mistake of an end user, who may be reluctant to notify IT. Other malware operates on a time-release basis, meaning it spreads among devices without encrypting data or causing other issues to attract attention.

The latter type lays latent for two to three weeks, says Packer, and in that time it collects information about how the system works. It attacks after it has made minor system tweaks to ensure it has the largest impact, and businesses don't know when the initial infection appeared.

Black Hat USA returns to the fabulous Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22-27, 2017. Click for information on the conference schedule and to register.

The speed and spread of ransomware

Once it finds an entry point, ransomware moves quickly. One infected machine can sync to a shared file server or cloud application, driving the spread of malware to all devices connected to that share. Respondents said 70% of ransomware attacks affected multiple devices.

Packer says it's worth noting 33% of ransomware attacks hit corporate servers, which are becoming popular targets as they become more critical to operations. Experts anticipate servers will continue to be targets if they aren't regularly patched.

The cloud is susceptible to ransomware, he explains, because of the way it's architected. Organizations are most vulnerable to ransomware when they take their on-premise models and move them to the cloud. Native cloud models are less likely to experience ransomware attacks.

"In the news, we don't see as much coverage of server-side [ransomware] as endpoint-side, but this is a problem," Packer continues. It creates a mess for businesses, he says, because recovery has to be well thought-out; it's not as simple as recovering an end-user device.

What can be done?

Most (82%) of respondents rely on backup data to recover from ransomware attacks and get their businesses back up and running. This is more reliable than paying ransoms, which only 5% of respondents report doing. Many victims who pay a ransom don't actually receive their data back, or receive a demand for a second ransom.

"From our perspective, businesses should start looking at the cloud for secondary copies of data," says Packer. There is "no easy frontline solution" to ransomware. While malware detection is useful and solves a big part of the problem, many systems aren't prepared for the rapid changes in ransomware attacks.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
'Hidden Tunnels' Help Hackers Launch Financial Services Attacks
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/20/2018
Inside a SamSam Ransomware Attack
Ajit Sancheti, CEO and Co-Founder, Preempt,  6/20/2018
Tesla Employee Steals, Sabotages Company Data
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  6/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-12716
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-25
The API service on Google Home and Chromecast devices before mid-July 2018 does not prevent DNS rebinding attacks from reading the scan_results JSON data, which allows remote attackers to determine the physical location of most web browsers by leveraging the presence of one of these devices on its l...
CVE-2018-12705
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
DIGISOL DG-BR4000NG devices have XSS via the SSID (it is validated only on the client side).
CVE-2018-12706
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
DIGISOL DG-BR4000NG devices have a Buffer Overflow via a long Authorization HTTP header.
CVE-2018-12714
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 4.17.2. The filter parsing in kernel/trace/trace_events_filter.c could be called with no filter, which is an N=0 case when it expected at least one line to have been read, thus making the N-1 index invalid. This allows attackers to cause a denial o...
CVE-2018-12713
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-24
GIMP through 2.10.2 makes g_get_tmp_dir calls to establish temporary filenames, which may result in a filename that already exists, as demonstrated by the gimp_write_and_read_file function in app/tests/test-xcf.c. This might be leveraged by attackers to overwrite files or read file content that was ...