According to a recent report from Radware, a leading cyber security provider, nearly half of all surveyed businesses experienced a ransomware attack in 2016. Ransomware is a type of attack where an organization is “locked out” of its computer network until a financial ransom is paid, usually with the anonymous and digital bit-coin currency.
The report also showed that cyber criminals frequently used the threat of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to elicit a bit-coin ransom. These attacks slow down a target server until it is rendered useless, often leading to prolonged business interruptions.
What’s worse is that these types of attacks are relatively easy for criminals to perform, and are often automated by using malware or bots. Additionally, Radware found that 40 percent of respondents don’t have a cyber incident response plan in place to counteract ransomware and DDoS attacks.
The report also made a number of predictions for cyber attacks in 2017, which included the creation of new types of DDoS attacks, more targeted ransomware attacks and the increased prevalence of politically-motivated cyber attacks.
Cyber Crime Evidence Connected to Russia Found in a Vermont Electric Utility System
U.S. intelligence agencies recently announced that they have discovered computer code on a laptop at a Vermont-based electric utility that can be connected to Russia. Russian sources have also been accused of influencing the most recent presidential election through cyber attacks, although it’s currently unknown if the two events are connected.
Experts believe that the discovery of malicious code on a utility provider’s computer network is troubling, as hackers could then gain control of and disrupt utilities on a large scale. However, there is no evidence that the code discovered on the electrical utility’s laptop compromised its systems or customer information.