Ransomware shuts down university database, makes them pay to reopen…highlights major data security problem

June 10, 2016 |

Ransomware, malware that encrypts a victim’s files until they pay for a decryption key, is a serious problem in data security. There are two types of ransomware:

(1) Crypto Ransomware — it encrypts files

(2) Locker Ransomware — it locks computers, preventing its use.

It is a bad problem that is getting worse.  It is commonly preventable with tight security measures, adequate and up to date software,proper training and protocols and regular if not daily back ups of data.  The sort of thing that many organisations in Australia don’t have because of a poor privacy culture brought about by inadequate regulation.

The BBC highlights the problem in University pays $20,000 to ransomware hackers where the University of Calgery had to pay $20,000 Canadian in bitcoins to unlock files after its IT department could not undo the damage for more than a week.  Health facilities are particularly prone to ransomeware attacks with Kansas Heart Hospital being hit May, the Medstar Health being forced offline by an attack in March while the Norfolk General Hospital in Ontario had its website infected as was the Ottawa Hospital.  The Los Angeles County Health department was  attacked in February.

According to It governance in 3,500% increase in ransomware domains in Q1 2016 there are now 130 variants of ransomware and it represents 60% of all malware.  According to Symantec report, The Evolution of Ransomware, in the period 2013 and 2014 there has been a 250 percent increase in ransomware.  The report dramatically states:

Never before in the history of human kind have people across the world been subjected to extortion on a massive scale as they are today.”

 

One Response to “Ransomware shuts down university database, makes them pay to reopen…highlights major data security problem”

  1. Ransomware shuts down university database, makes them pay to reopen…highlights major data security problem | Australian Law Blogs

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