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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/22/2016
02:10 PM
Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Slideshows
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

How To Lock Down So Ransomware Doesn't Lock You Out

Ransomware has mutated into many different forms - and it's not always easy to catch them all, but here are some things you can do.
Previous
1 of 7
Next

With the introduction of the CryptoLocker Trojan in September 2013, the cyber-plague we now know as ransomware was unleashed on the Internet. From its simple beginnings, ransomware has mutated into many different forms — and it’s not always easy to catch them all.

“There are now well over one hundred different strains, and the end is nowhere in sight,” says Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4.

The sheer number of malware variants demonstrates ransomware’s strong appeal, where many aspiring cybercriminals — big and small — are trying to muscle their way onto the scene with increasingly sophisticated digital tools.

“It is only a matter of time before one of these guys gets smart and starts analyzing the files on disk or file server to see which are recent and/or shared, or sit in a directory that indicates high value like accounting, design, or software development,” Sjouwerman predicts.

To date, traditional signature-based computer security products have been unable to effectively combat ransomware. And the problems are getting worse, because there’s so much for the bad actors to gain, and nothing for them to lose.

Igor Baikalov, chief scientist at Securonix, explains ransomware's allure this way: "...the barriers to entry are low, the payoffs are high, operations are scalable, and risk is negligible compared to the physical hold-up in a dark alley.”

Meanwhile, ransomware continues to evolve and competition amongst the criminals is fierce — and it spans the globe. 

“These mostly Eastern European cyber mafias are investing a lot of money in ‘new feature’ development such as new strains that function as a worm, strains that obtain admin privileges, a strain that adds a DDoS bot to the machine, and others that literally pull some encrypted files off the victim machine up into their control and command server — this bring us into data breach territory,” Sjouwerman says.

Criminals are moving quickly. The industry must move faster to combat these threats, experts say.

“Within the year, we will see fully-automated ransomware targeting all machines on a company’s network, using multiple methods of attack and delivering multiple types of payloads,” Sjouwerman says.

Here's how to build a defense-in-depth strategy to help you prepare for a ransomware attack — with the goal of not having to pay the ransom.

Note: imsmartin would like to thank Chris Whidden, Solution Engineer at eSentire, Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4, and Igor Baikalov, Chief Scientist at Securonix, for their contributions to this slideshow.

Related Content:

 

 

Sean Martin is an information security veteran of nearly 25 years and a four-term CISSP with articles published globally covering security management, cloud computing, enterprise mobility, governance, risk, and compliance—with a focus on specialized industries such as ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
NisosGroup
50%
50%
NisosGroup,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/26/2016 | 10:49:03 AM
Re: Mapped Drives versus Collaboration platforms
Terry,

 

I was intrigued by your question. I queried my team who responded as follows. If that's not a robust enough answer or you need actual technical assistance with the issue, do let me know.

"It's a short hop for sharepoint library- stored files to be accessed by WebDAV UNC paths.  Windows internally will do the file get/put for an attacker of the file path.  If ransomware used MRUs, it could grab the paths as start points for attacking sharepoint libraries and files stored within. The best part about Windows being "smart" regarding file path interpretation is that it makes the issue trivial."
TerryB
50%
50%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
6/23/2016 | 12:42:09 PM
Mapped Drives versus Collaboration platforms
It's well known now that legacy mapped network drives from servers can be encrypted by a ransomware attack. I've yet to see an article that discusses whether that ability exists to attack Sharepoint database server from a compromised client. 

It seems like the Web Front End of Sharepoint would protect the database server. But I've noticed the "Recent Documents" ability in things like Excel shows links to documents in Sharepoint Doc libraries. Can ransomware traverse those links and encrypt either the web front end or database server of Sharepoint?

I've struggled to motivate the biz unit I work at to move the majority of documents from legacy mapped drives into our Sharepoint install. I'm very curious if this a benefit I can use to increase the priority of that.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
6/23/2016 | 7:22:41 AM
Some great advice
Some good advice in this piece. Don't be the lowest hanging fruit, make sure security is as high as you can make it and educate the users.

I'd also recommend finding a different way to share files and folders among workers other than email attachments, that way you can just assume all email attachments are malicious and delete them. It's often not worth the risk.

There are many better ways to share data now any way. 
News
Former CISA Director Chris Krebs Discusses Risk Management & Threat Intel
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/23/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Security + Fraud Protection: Your One-Two Punch Against Cyberattacks
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  2/23/2021
News
Cybercrime Groups More Prolific, Focus on Healthcare in 2020
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/22/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
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
Building the SOC of the Future
Building the SOC of the Future
Digital transformation, cloud-focused attacks, and a worldwide pandemic. The past year has changed the way business works and the way security teams operate. There is no going back.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20327
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
A specific version of the Node.js mongodb-client-encryption module does not perform correct validation of the KMS server’s certificate. This vulnerability in combination with a privileged network position active MITM attack could result in interception of traffic between the Node....
CVE-2021-20328
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
Specific versions of the Java driver that support client-side field level encryption (CSFLE) fail to perform correct host name verification on the KMS server’s certificate. This vulnerability in combination with a privileged network position active MITM attack could result in inte...
CVE-2020-27543
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
The restify-paginate package 0.0.5 for Node.js allows remote attackers to cause a Denial-of-Service by omitting the HTTP Host header. A Restify-based web service would crash with an uncaught exception.
CVE-2020-23534
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
A server-side request forgery (SSRF) vulnerability in Upgrade.php of gopeak masterlab 2.1.5, via the 'source' parameter.
CVE-2021-27330
PUBLISHED: 2021-02-25
Triconsole Datepicker Calendar <3.77 is affected by cross-site scripting (XSS) in calendar_form.php. Attackers can read authentication cookies that are still active, which can be used to perform further attacks such as reading browser history, directory listings, and file contents.