Crypto-ransomware: king of cybercrime attack modes

83 percent of all extortion attacks were made by using crypto-ransomware in the fourth quarter of 2015.
83 percent of all extortion attacks were made by using crypto-ransomware in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Crypto-ransomware has surpassed botnets as the most popular attack method of choice for cyber-criminals.

According to research from Trend Micro, 83 percent of all extortion attacks were made by using crypto-ransomware in the fourth quarter of 2015. 

“Crypto-ransomware threats have a significant impact on businesses; often the damage done due to downtime and data recovery costs is well beyond the ransom required to restore the files,” said Indi Siriniwasa of Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand. “Australian businesses need to consider their response to these threats which demand a holistic approach to IT security.”

CryptoWall was one of the top most notorious ransomware families of 2015 with a 31 percent share, generating more than $18m (£12.6m) in losses for its victims. 

The report said that 2015 laid the groundwork with online extortion and cyber-attacks, a notable high-profile attack being Ashley Madison.

Earlier this week, a new strain of ransomware striking Mac OS X devices was discovered, dubbed KeRanger.  

“The best way to deal with ransomware of any type is still prevention using a multi-layered strategy of advanced threat defences specifically created for crypto-ransomware. It is crucial to protect any means by which ransomware can infect a system,” the report noted.  

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