The Next Global Ransomware Attack Isn’t Exactly New News

You may have read about it already — the next global ransomware attack is projected to cost almost two billion dollars.  There are also reports claiming this attack will likely exploit cyber-weapons from the U.S. government.  Both of these claims are frightening and generating public concern.  It is because of this concern, I decided to address this topic — but likely not how you will read about it elsewhere.

This is Old News

For those who don’t know, there have already been global ransomware attacks.  The first, deemed WannaCry, exploited EternalBlue, vulnerabilities known by the NSA to use as a “cyber-weapon”.  The total costs associated with WannaCry reached approximately $4 billion.  To be fair, that’s a far reach from the projected $193 billion of the next attack.  However, hackers have continued to advance their attack methods since WannaCry was released, meaning it’s not unrealistic to expect a higher financial loss for future attacks.

The Next Attack

Experts have suggested the next global ransomware attack will be sent via email.  The victim would then open the email and click on the attachment.  Upon clicking on the malicious attachment, the user would begin installing the malware.  Sound familiar?  It should — most ransomware attacks are distributed in this exact same manner.  Again, this is not new news.

One of the bigger fears generated with this projected attack is the malicious email spreading through the contact list of the original victim.  This in itself could be incredibly problematic, as it would allow for the ransomware to spread at an epidemic level.  Think about this for one second.  You get an email, and once you open it, it gets redistributed to all of your contacts.  If only a fraction of them open it, it will still continue to spread to all of their contacts, and so on.  This is a big, scary problem — but far from new news.  Cyber attacks have used this method of distribution before.

Silver Lining

Although there may be another global attack in the works, it’s not projected to use a new, never before seen way, to infect users.  This is good, considering there is a way to prevent this form of malicious attack.  To avoid infection, use of an application whitelist.  A whitelist will only allow for known, safe programs to execute.  Therefore, the malicious attachment would not download to the device, nor would it have the opportunity to spread throughout the network if this was in a business setting.  Again, this isn’t new news.  Several major government entities have encouraged the use of application whitelisting to keep data and devices secure from modern cyber threats.  You may have even heard about application whitelisting in our blogs before! 🙂

Conclusion

Global ransomware attacks have already occurred.  These attacks also used malicious emails to distribute ransomware.  Historically, malicious emails have also spread throughout victim’s contact lists — not always, but it has happened.  None of these threats are new.  Analysts are merely theorizing how the hackers could successfully execute another global attack by pairing the latter two.

The best method to prevent falling victim, application whitelisting, is also not a new theory.  However, now that users know the potential damages of the next global cyber attack, they may be more apt to focus on a preventative approach.  So our question is, now that you know what may be coming – what are you going to do about it?

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2 thoughts on “The Next Global Ransomware Attack Isn’t Exactly New News

  1. Well, my, my, my, here we go again. Question: How much longer are we going to keep playing THIS game? Answer: Until the INDUSTRIES behind the “attacks” are exposed as the VERY SAME people proposing the “solutions.” It’s called the Problem Creation, Problem Crisis, resulting in monetary profit Problem Resolution cycle. Have you ever heard of the axiom: The Best Defense Is A Good Offense? Well, it seems to me, some technical wizard somewhere would have figured out BY NOW how to “hijack the hijackers” so to speak. In other words, why isn’t anybody coming up with a technique to REVERSE the hacking process once the “malware” is “detected” to put the hackers out of business PERMANENTLY? Answer: Because too much REVENUE generated by FEAR would be lost to the deviant demons behind the ENTIRE “get rich quick” scheme. Just ask Wall Street about the “9/11” incident used to torpedo ENRON causing the Stock Exchange “crash” of 2001. HINT: Follow the money and ask yourself WHO benefited. Yes, evil REALLY IS that Cunningly Deceptive and you REALLY ARE that Gullibly Stupid. DUMBASS!

    “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  2. Are IOS devices as susceptible to these attacks as devices with other operating systems? I seem to have read that PCs with windows OS are the most vulnerable, while Apple computers are not.

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