Bad Rabbit is the latest in a series of major ransomware attacks to hit Europe this year.
The rise of ransomware
Ransomware is malicious software that holds files or devices hostage by encrypting them. A ransom is demanded in exchange for a decryption key, though in the shady world of cyber-criminality, payment does not guarantee a happy ending. Experts counsel against coughing up the bounty, as do law enforcement authorities who know that ransomware is on the rise precisely because it is so lucrative- the cost of attacks in 2016 is estimated to have reached $1 billion 1.
You need to update Flash…
Bad Rabbit is spread through “drive-by downloads”. Essentially, legitimate but unsecured websites have been hacked, visitors to those websites are told that they need to install a Flash update. When users innocently click on the update, their computer locks and victims are given 40 hours to pay the 0.5 bitcoin ransom 2.
How Irish businesses can protect themselves
To arm against the spread of Bad Rabbit, Irish firms have been urged to prevent their employees from downloading software updates by restricting this access to designated administrators 3. One download is enough to take down an entire network; ransomware can spread from a single infected machine across the company’s LAN or Local Area Network.
While restricting employee access is a sensible move, the experts at Ripplecom also point to the risk of employees contracting harmful malware at home. When home devices connect to the company network, infection spreads via LAN, bypassing any firewalls in place.
Secure data back up
With this in mind, and given the ascendancy of ransomware in general, companies must take the need to back up their data seriously to mitigate risk. Moreover, this back-up must be done on systems that are isolated within, or separate to, their network. This means that even if your files and drives come under attack, your back up survives unscathed.
— Ripplecom (@ripplecom) October 31, 2017
Since Bad Rabbit first surfaced in Russia and the Ukraine a week ago (24 October 2017), cases have been reported in Turkey, Germany, Japan and the United States though the spread has not been as rapid as the WannaCry attack that crippled the NHS in the UK back in May. Airports, metro and media firms have been affected but there is some hope for stricken organizations. Kaspersky Lab, a multinational cyber security and anti-virus provider with headquarters in Moscow, believes it has identified flaws in Bad Rabbit’s Game of Thrones- referenced coding 4 that will allow the recovery of files- without giving into demands 5.
Prevention is better than cure
Ripplecom offers intelligent cyber security solutions for Irish businesses powered by the Juniper network- both Juniper Sky ATP and Cyphort on-prem solutions detect the Bad Rabbit threat 6. If you are concerned about protecting your company from online threats and would like to talk to an expert, please contact Ripplecom on Lo Call 1890-747753, telephone 061-500250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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