The latest in cyber crime to gain popularity and infamy has been ‘ransomware’, a type of malware which installs itself onto unsuspecting computers. The malware then encrypts the user’s hard drive, completely disabling it until payment has been made to unlock it. ‘Ransomware’ hits major websites demanding payment, including BBC, the New York Times, NFL.com and AOL amongst others.
The attack, which was reported by security researchers Malwarebytes, could have potentially affected billions as some of the most popular websites were targeted. The malware itself was delivered via a number of different advert networks and took advantage of a number of vulnerabilities in the systems. Once the malware reaches the user, it redirects the web page to servers which are hosting the malware, it then looks for a potential backdoor entry into the system. Once in, the ransomware will install encryption software, rendering the user’s computer useless unless payment is sent.
This kind of malware is becoming increasingly popular with cyber criminals as it is far more effective and rewarding than standard malware and trojans. The amounts demanded as ransom have varied from a few bitcoins to one LA hospital who had to pay $17,000 in ransom payment back in February. This attack will no doubt fan the flames of debate of ad-blockers, which is something that would have protected users if implemented. Of course, the other side of the argument is that ad-blockers are hurting the industry, but with attacks like these set to rise, the need for protection is as high as ever.
If you are concerned with online security, then there are steps you can take in order to remain safe online. By using a VPN every time you use the internet, you will be securing yourself and your internet connection from potential attacks. These include hackers after personal information, or even just those attempting to monitor your online activity. With Le VPN, you can easily secure your internet connection no matter where you are in the world.
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