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SamSam Ransomware Goes on a Tear

SamSam ransomware hasn't gone away and it's adapting to meet evolving defenses.

SamSam, the ransomware that had a notable impact on the city of Atlanta, has continued its campaign of attacks against entire organizations, striking 67 targets in 2018, with most of them located in the US.

According to a new report by Symantec, SamSam has found its greatest concentration of victims in healthcare (24% of victim organizations). SamSam, unlike many ransomware campaigns, infects an organization and performs extensive reconnaissance before launching the attack, which typically encrypts data on as many different systems as possible, according to Symantec.

It then demands a substantial ransom in return for un-encrypting the entire organization's computers. Scott Scheferman, senior director of Global Services for Cylance notes that SamSam's tactics, techniques, and procedures will keep shifting and adapting to new vulnerabilities, for example. "These are adaptable human threat actors that target weak organizations; not spray-and-pray automated, opportunistic mal-spammers," he said in a statement.

Symantec warns in its report that SamSam poses "a grave threat to organizations in the U.S. The group is skilled and resourceful, capable of using tactics and tools more commonly seen in espionage attacks."

When considering protection from SamSam, Glen Pendley, deputy CTO at Tenable says, "This ransomware campaign is a reminder of the importance of complete visibility into your attack surface. You need to know what assets you have, where they're located, and what's installed on them in order to reduce your overall exposure. It's basic, but it can help thwart these types of attacks."

For more, read here.

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