Latest Trends in Ransomware
The pandemic forced companies to move much of their business online, which increased their security vulnerabilities accordingly. The FBI Internet Complaint Center showed a 62% increase in ransomware in 2021.
There was $590 million in ransomware-related activity in the first 6 months of 2021 alone. Ransomware tactics and techniques continued to evolve in 2021, showing ransomware threat actors growing in technological sophistication increasing the ransomware threat globally.
The increased prevalence of remote work has led to a rise in ransomware attacks, using the following techniques.
- Phishing: This often comes in the form of an email that convinces you to click on a link and then enter your credentials.
- Stolen Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials: Threat actors have been focused on RDP credentials–specifically targeting cloud accounts, cloud application programming interfaces, and data backup and storage systems that allow them to deny access to cloud resources and then encrypt data and ask for ransom.
- Brute force attacks: A brute force attack uses trial-and-error to guess login info, encryption keys, or find a hidden web page. Hackers work through all possible combinations hoping to guess correctly.
- Exploiting vulnerabilities: Unpatched systems allow for easy exploitation of a single machine, which can then spread. Once a ransomware threat actor has gained code execution on a device or network access, they can deploy ransomware.