Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

2/22/2021
11:45 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

8 Ways Ransomware Operators Target Your Network

Security researchers explore how criminals are expanding their arsenals with new, more subtle, and more effective ransomware attack techniques.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

(Image: Tryfonov -- stock.adobe.com)

(Image: Tryfonov -- stock.adobe.com)

Ransomware continues to plague IT security teams as attackers rework their campaigns to be more subtle, more effective, and much more expensive for the organizations they hit.

Related Content:

How Ransomware Defense Is Evolving With Ransomware Attacks

Special Report: Understanding Your Cyber Attackers

New From The Edge: Breach Etiquette: How to Mind Your Manners When It Matters

Security experts predict the pace of ransomware attacks will accelerate this year as operators continue to succeed in extorting ransoms. As campaigns grow more organized and targeted, and the tools they require become easier to access, the future looks ominous for defenders.

A key trend the industry is watching is the growth of double extortion attacks. Operators use two strategies: They demand a ransom for the return of stolen data, then threaten to publish the data if an organization doesn't pay. The emergence of this trend in the past year indicates that over time, more victims have refused to pay ransom due to protections like data backups. 

Many ransomware campaigns start with a phishing email as attackers hope an unsuspecting employee will click a link or download a malicious payload. If they do, the malware attempts to contact the attackers' command-and-control (C2) server and explore the target environment. Once inside, they look for assets, such as accounts and systems with access to valuable data. If they find and encrypt that data before they're detected, it's not a good day for the business. 

Some businesses don't know they've been breached until ransomware is deployed, CrowdStrike researchers said in their latest "Cyber Front Lines Report." While 69% of victims self-identified a security incident, in 14% of cases the breach was discovered due to execution of ransomware.

The average dwell time for ransomware attacks was 45 days in 2020; however, it's worth noting that in 26% of ransomware attacks, the dwell time was one day. In 48%, it was less than a week.

Knowing how attackers operate is a key first step in defending against them. Here, we discuss different ways that operators evaluate and target organizations with ransomware attacks.

 

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

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-23381
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-18
This affects all versions of package killing. If attacker-controlled user input is given, it is possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. This is due to use of the child_process exec function without input sanitization.
CVE-2021-23374
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-18
This affects all versions of package ps-visitor. If attacker-controlled user input is given to the kill function, it is possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. This is due to use of the child_process exec function without input sanitization.
CVE-2021-23375
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-18
This affects all versions of package psnode. If attacker-controlled user input is given to the kill function, it is possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. This is due to use of the child_process exec function without input sanitization.
CVE-2021-23376
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-18
This affects all versions of package ffmpegdotjs. If attacker-controlled user input is given to the trimvideo function, it is possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. This is due to use of the child_process exec function without input sanitization.
CVE-2021-23377
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-18
This affects all versions of package onion-oled-js. If attacker-controlled user input is given to the scroll function, it is possible for an attacker to execute arbitrary commands. This is due to use of the child_process exec function without input sanitization.