New Strain of Ransomware Threatens to Sell Encrypted Data on the Dark Web
Cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by targeting workers who are adjusting to the new protocols of working from home. Phishing emails have increased drastically in recent months as attackers prey on those who are working, attending school, and social distancing from home, and it was recently discovered that a particularly malicious strain of ransomware is being delivered through phishing emails.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that encrypts a victim’s files until a ransom is paid. It’s typically delivered through a malicious link or document, often sent through convincing phishing messages designed to trick the receiver into clicking or downloading the link. Maze Ransomware, the new strain of ransomware that is currently circulating the web, goes one step further than the average ransomware attack. In addition to encrypting important data the Maze Ransomware hacking group threatens to release stolen information for sale on the dark web if victims do not cooperate by paying the requested ransom.
To deliver Maze Ransomware, attackers are using phishing emails that mimic government agencies in an attempt to gain access into a victim’s network and steal credentials and files until completely taking control of the network. Once encrypting all the files on the network and gaining administrative control, the attackers deliver a ransom note on the infected machine with instructions to a website where information is listed regarding the ransom amount and how to pay.
- Scheduled Backups Backup data on your devices regularly and store externally. This can help ensure that important files are secure in the case that your network is compromised by ransomware.
- Password Security Use unique passwords for each of your individual online accounts and implement password management processes to protect your personal information. For more information about password managers, visit https://www.cnet.com/how-to/best-password-manager-for-2020/
- Patch Updates Ensure that you are regularly updating your software with the latest security updates.