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CryptoWall More Pervasive, Less Profitable Than CryptoLocker
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theb0x
theb0x,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 4:55:25 PM
Re: What should enterprises do when faced with ransomware?
Given the complexity of the encryption used, a bruteforce attack is not practical by any means for key retrieval. I have seen both cases where paying the ransom has allowed the user/company to retrieve their data successfully. I have also seen the ransom paid and no key was ever provided by the criminal. If you have no valid backup of your files, the only chance you have at all is to pay it. That may not be what you want to hear but is the truth in most incidents.

Some of this ransomware is quite sophisticated as it does indeed encrypt all locally attached storage, network shares, sdeletes all volume shadow copies etc of previous version files.


Besides having offsite redundant backups, I recommend that all backups performed are locally encrypted prior to being sent offsite. This ensures your files cannot be affected. The ransomware will not be able to access your files with it's cipher.

Network share permissions should be reviewed for all user accounts and a GPO should be put in place to deny executible processes from running in %AppData% and %LocalAppData .

 
Robert McDougal
Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 3:05:14 PM
Re: What should enterprises do when faced with ransomware?
As much as I would like to say there isn't a situation in which you should pay the ransom, since doing so encourages the attackers, but that isn't always the case.  Until recently, most of the computers that I dealt with which were infected with Cryptowall have all had backups.  A few months ago a user's PC was infected and she didn't have a backup and to make matters worse her PC contained the all the financial documents for the organization.  Losing that data would have been devastating to her small business so I advised her to pay the ransom of $400 to get the data back.
RyanSepe
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
8/29/2014 | 2:55:59 PM
Re: What should enterprises do when faced with ransomware?
Very good questions. I have just recently dealt with ransomware and have experience in dealing with both sets of questions. However unfortunately Marilyn I would not want to alienate any organizations regarding your question so I will be ambiguous in your answer and say yes. Luckily my current organization has never dealt in such matters but I know of ones that have.

@DarkReadingTim, I would say no to , "are there situations where instituations consider paying the ransom" and here is why. Ransomware and restricting local areas shouldn't be a factor. It should be dictated in your enterprises policy and for best business practice that all data be stored on mapped drives. Stored in a data center and backed up to other servers. In this way for ransomware and physical theft, you are not in trouble of losing your data and don't find yourself in that situation.

You have the right to call law enforcement regarding these situations however I am not certain as to the success percentage of discovering the perpetrator. Before you do anything document everything done to the machine. Logging is critical before law enforcement should get involved. (Senior professionals should be the ones investigating)

Lastly, as stated above, I believe this should be set by policy. Policies are the foundation to information security. Before pursuing any endeavor, policy is the first item that should be set.

Thats just one InfoSec Professionals opinion, does anyone have a different outlook that could provide an outside perspective?
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 10:41:54 AM
Re: What should enterprises do when faced with ransomware?
Those are great questions, @DarkReadingTim. I've got one to add (and I doubt that anyone will answer), but here goes: Isn't it likely that companies that do pay a ransom would not publicize the fact -- so as not to encourgage more ransomware threats?
DarkReadingTim
DarkReadingTim,
User Rank: Strategist
8/29/2014 | 9:59:00 AM
What should enterprises do when faced with ransomware?
I'm interested to hear what security professionals advise when faced with ransomware infections such as those outlined in the story. Are there situations when they should consider paying the ransom? What are the implications for their data if they call in law enforcement? Is this something an enterprise can set a policy on, or is it really decided on a case-by-case basis?


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