2019’s Cryptoransom Risks are Already Here

First, the large scale hack:

Last week, the Tribune Companies were attacked by a large scale attack that focused on the disruption and disablement of backbone infrastructure.

What this means in layman’s terms is that the “Cloud” computing systems that run the Trib’s publishing and content distribution systems came under attack. This includes ad serving systems, hosted content development and distribution systems.

A number of Cybersecurity firms wrung their hands pointing at Eastern Europe and North Korea — however the crux of the problem goes back to the Ryuk virus being at the core of these attacks.

Ryuk holds data ransom locking down computers and “bricking” or disabling them if the ransom isn’t paid.

Now, the risks you need to worry about:

The NJCCIC has also identified a number of phishing attacks via email and LinkedIn:

“Recent extortion email variations claim to have hacked the recipient’s device and recorded them visiting adult content websites. The perpetrator then demands a ransom payment in the form of bitcoin be sent within a set timeframe or they will release the video to their contacts.”

What Linkedin users and people targeted from phishing attacks need to understand is — in many cases there isn’t a breach, however the ransomware is the core of the attack. If you suspect you are being targeted — it’s best to speak with a cybersecurity professional or your local systems administrator.

Additionally, attacks leveraging fake fonts and Cryptomix:

Cryptomix is more complicated, as it’s an attack that comes with a pleas for help for a child:

“ This latest campaign introduces a ransom note instructing victims to email the ransomware distributors, who pose as a charity organization that will donate your ransom to a child in need. Children mentioned in the emails are, in fact, real children; however, as expected, none of the payments reach those in need.”

Finally, in real world ransom — a Norwegian Billionaire, whose wife was kidnapped last fall, is now facing a $10 Million dollar cryptoransom being demanded in Monero.

What 2016–2017 led us to understand in hacks, cryptoransom and attacks have led to a 2019 that stands to be far more complicated — in terms of risks — both online and in the real world.

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