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6 common types of Ransomware businesses should be aware of in 2024

Latest Update: 16/04/2024

6 common types of Ransomware businesses should be aware of in 2024

With the increasing speed and sophistication of cyberattacks, ransomware has emerged as the most significant threat to businesses in 2024. According to Cybersecurity Ventures' 2023 report, there are up to 70 ransomware attacks occurring globally every minute. This figure is expected to continue rising in 2024 and the years to come. Join VNETWORK as we delve into and combat the six most perilous ransomware threats targeting businesses in 2024 through the following article.

Overview of Ransomware

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that employs encryption techniques to seize critical information of users or organizations, demanding ransom in exchange for restoring access. It represents a significant and evolving threat to all computer systems, particularly those connected to the internet.

Ransomware not only jeopardizes personal data but can also inflict substantial damage on businesses and governmental organizations. According to Cybersecurity Ventures' report, the total ransom payments for ransomware attacks are forecasted to reach $265 billion annually by 2031, up from $11.5 billion in 2019.

With its ability to propagate rapidly across networks, ransomware can target database servers and files, rendering an organization completely incapacitated within a short timeframe. This issue is exacerbated by the billions of dollars paid out annually to ransom data from cyber attackers. Therefore, the implementation of protective measures and the enhancement of cybersecurity are imperative in confronting this threat.

Ransomware operational mechanisms

The process of ransomware attacks The process of ransomware attacks

Originally, Ransomware primarily targeted individual computers. However, attackers are gradually shifting their focus towards businesses due to the higher potential for profits. Enterprises often possess valuable data and are willing to pay significant ransoms to regain access. The mechanisms of Ransomware attacks on businesses include:

Distribution

Ransomware is commonly distributed through various channels, with malicious emails being one of the most prevalent methods. Attackers typically send emails containing malicious attachments or links. When users carelessly open the file or click on the link, the ransomware is activated and spreads throughout their system.

Additionally, websites hosting malware play a crucial role in the distribution of ransomware. Users can get infected when accessing malicious websites or downloading files from unsecured sources.

Moreover, ransomware can also spread through other means such as USB drives or network-shared files. This increases the risk for both individuals and businesses if proper protection measures are not implemented.

Infection

Once ransomware is activated, it initiates the infection process by copying its executable files into the system or running directly from a location on the internet. Typically, ransomware exploits security vulnerabilities in software or operating systems to infiltrate the target system.

Computer communication

After infection, ransomware typically establishes a connection with a remote command-and-control (C&C) server to receive instructions and report its status. Through this connection, hackers can control and manipulate the ransomware's activities on victim machines flexibly and effectively.

File search and encryption

Ransomware automatically scans the system to detect important files such as images, documents, databases, and other valuable file types. Once these files are identified, ransomware uses powerful encryption methods to render them unreadable. These encryption methods may be symmetric or asymmetric, creating an insurmountable barrier that can only be decrypted with the precise encryption key.

Ransom demands

After completing the encryption process, ransomware displays a ransom demand message on the user's screen. Typically, this message provides detailed instructions on how to make the ransom payment, contact information, and the deadline for payment. Once the payment is made, hackers may provide the victim with a decryption key to restore their data, although there is no guarantee that the data will be fully recovered.

Impact of Ransomware attacks on businesses

Ransomware attacks can have severe consequences for business operations and systems, including:

Data loss and business interruption

Ransomware causes significant loss for businesses by encrypting critical data such as documents, customer information, financial data, and employee records. The consequence of this is reduced business efficiency as they cannot access data, leading to disruptions in operations and requiring time to resolve and restore systems. All of these contribute to revenue loss and lack of customer trust.

Financial losses and reputational damage

Ransomware results in substantial losses both in terms of costs and reputation for businesses. Having to pay ransom, expenses for system recovery, and security enhancements impose a significant financial burden. Additionally, the incident damages the reputation of the business, causing them to lose customers and revenue. This illustrates the negative impact ransomware brings to both business aspects and the reputation of the enterprise.

Legal and cybersecurity risks

Ransomware not only causes economic and reputational losses for businesses but also faces serious legal consequences. Violating regulations on personal data protection can lead to legal issues, resulting in time-consuming lawsuits, expenses, and a decline in the business's reputation. Moreover, weak security systems also pose a significant risk for future attacks, increasing the likelihood and substantial losses for businesses.

The most common types of Ransomware attacks in 2024

1. Crypto-ransomware

Crypto-ransomware is a highly dangerous form of ransomware and is considered the most prevalent today. This type of attack focuses on stealing the victim's important data, encrypting it, and demanding ransom to regain access. Some notable examples of Crypto-ransomware include WannaCry, CryptoLocker, and Locky.

This type of attack often infiltrates computers through malicious emails, infected websites, or downloaded files. Crypto-ransomware encrypts files on the victim's computer, including documents, multimedia, and even backups, making them inaccessible. This ransomware may also attempt to encrypt files on network drives and cloud storage. The attackers then demand a ransom, typically through cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key.

The consequences of crypto-ransomware can be severe, resulting in permanent loss of critical data. Even if the victim pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the decryption key.

2. Leakware

Leakware, also known as exfiltration or doxware, is a highly risky form of cyberattack. This type of attack not only encrypts the victim's data but also steals sensitive information and threatens to disclose it if the victim does not comply with ransom demands. The consequences of leakware extend beyond damaging the reputation and trust of businesses. It can also lead to violations of data protection laws, subjecting businesses to hefty fines from regulatory authorities. Additionally, financial losses are inevitable, as the disclosure of sensitive information can cause financial harm to businesses, including costs to remediate the incident and compensate affected parties.

3. Scareware

Scareware is a type of malicious software that exploits users' fears to deceive them into installing fake software or performing dangerous actions. This type of attack often displays fake security alerts or system issue notifications that do not actually exist.

The operation of Scareware involves three main stages. Firstly, it impersonates legitimate security software by using logos of reputable security programs to deceive users. Next, Scareware displays fake alerts about viruses, malware, or serious system issues, creating a sense of chaos and fear in users' minds. Finally, it prompts user action by requiring them to purchase and install advertised software to address the issue, while in reality, it's just a scam strategy to profit from their distress.

The potential risks of Scareware are significant. Firstly, it can perpetrate scams by tricking users into purchasing fake software through false alerts, leading to financial losses without any benefits. Secondly, the advertised "antivirus" software in Scareware alerts may actually contain malware, posing risks to users' computers and data. Lastly, Scareware often causes continuous annoyance by displaying deceptive pop-up windows, disrupting and impacting the user experience. This not only reduces productivity but also creates unnecessary inconvenience for users.

4. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a newly emerging and dangerous business model in the field of cyberattacks, operating similarly to legitimate cloud services. This model allows anyone, regardless of hacking skills, to conduct ransomware attacks.

The operation of RaaS involves several steps. Firstly, attackers can register or affiliate with RaaS services through dark web platforms or similar channels. Next, they can rent or purchase ransomware from RaaS providers at different price points, depending on the features and customization capabilities of the software. Finally, many RaaS providers also offer customer support services and additional services to attackers, including usage guidance and technical support. This helps enhance flexibility and efficiency in deploying ransomware for attackers.

The potential risks of RaaS are concerning on several fronts. Firstly, the popularity of RaaS makes ransomware more accessible, leading to a significant increase in the number of attacks. Secondly, RaaS provides extensive access to many attackers participating in ransomware attacks, creating a distributed and complex attack model. Furthermore, using RaaS makes conducting ransomware attacks easier, regardless of the attackers' skills, thereby increasing the risk for organizations and individuals. Lastly, the high-profit potential from ransomware makes RaaS an attractive option for many attackers, enticing them to engage in cyberattack activities.

5. DDoS Ransomware

DDoS Ransomware, or Distributed Denial of Service Ransomware, is a variant of ransomware that differs from traditional ransomware in its targeting of network services instead of file encryption.

The operation of DDoS Ransomware involves three main steps. First, the attacker generates a large volume of fake traffic to overload and disrupt the victim's network resources. Next, this fake traffic can render network services inaccessible or slow, causing disruption in the victim's service delivery. Finally, the attacker demands ransom from the victim to cease the attack, threatening to continue the assault if payment is not received. This creates a coercive and urgent situation for the victim, enhancing the appeal of the attack to the perpetrator.

The consequences of DDoS Ransomware are severe and multifaceted. Firstly, DDoS attacks can cause significant disruptions to business operations, resulting in revenue loss and reduced productivity for the affected organization. Secondly, website or service disruptions can impact the reputation of the business, leading to loss of trust from customers and partners. Finally, to remediate the incident and enhance security post-attack, businesses may incur substantial costs, including expenses for mitigation measures and system redesign. This imposes a significant financial and time burden on the affected organization.

6. Wiper Ransomware

Wiper Ransomware is a dangerous variant of ransomware with significantly higher levels of destruction compared to conventional ransomware. Instead of merely encrypting data, Wiper Ransomware deletes or corrupts data permanently, making recovery infeasible even if the victim pays the ransom. The objective of Wiper Ransomware is not financial gain but rather disruption and destruction. Often targeting specific organizations or countries in network conflicts or political disputes, Wiper aims to sabotage systems. This type of attack can completely destroy systems, erase critical data, and disrupt organizational operations, posing a serious threat to businesses and governments. This underscores the importance of defending against and mitigating these attacks, especially in the context of escalating global cyber threats.

The consequences of Wiper Ransomware are severe. Firstly, data wiped or damaged by Wiper cannot be recovered, leading to loss of vital information and impacting business operations. Secondly, system destruction can cause serious disruptions to organizational activities, affecting productivity and efficiency. Finally, businesses and governments may incur significant costs to remediate the incident and restore systems post-attack. This highlights the importance of enhancing security and implementing preventive measures to thwart such attacks.

How to protect businesses against Ransomware attacks

Protecting businesses from ransomware attacks is an essential part of an organization's information security strategy against threats to enterprise systems. To effectively safeguard businesses against increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, enterprises can:

Implement basic network security measures:

  • Install and configure network firewalls to block unwanted connections.
  • Use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to secure data when accessed remotely.
  • Limit access to network services from outside the internal network.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all administrative accounts and employees within the organization to enhance system security through additional factor authentication.

Update and manage systems:

  • Ensure all devices and software in the office environment are fully updated with the latest security patches.
  • Use automated update management tools to simplify this process.

Deploy multi-layered defense solutions:

  • Utilize antivirus software, anti-malware, and intrusion detection solutions to prevent and detect ransomware early.
  • Implement email protection solutions to filter and block emails containing malicious attachments or links.

Backup and data recovery:

  • Perform regular data backups and store them on multiple storage media such as hard drives, cloud, or peripheral storage devices.
  • Regularly check the availability and integrity of backups and perform data recovery testing.

Apply principle of least privilege and access control:

  • Limit user access rights only to resources and data necessary for their job.
  • Use user management systems to automatically assign and revoke access rights based on roles and responsibilities.

Develop an emergency response plan:

  • Develop a detailed emergency response plan with specific action steps to handle and recover from a ransomware attack.
  • Train employees and conduct regular emergency response plan drills to ensure preparedness.

VNIS - Comprehensive security solution against Ransomware attacks

To effectively cope with the increasingly complex ransomware attacks, VNETWORK offers the VNIS Platform - a comprehensive Web/App/API security solution to ensure the safety and stability of enterprise information systems against all ransomware attack scenarios.

mo-hinh-bao-mat-toan-dien-cua-vnis.png VNIS comprehensive protection model

VNIS helps safeguard businesses with:

Robust global infrastructure

With over 2,300 connection points worldwide, our VNIS solution handles traffic up to 2,600 Tbps, ensuring that businesses' websites operate stably with 100% reliability, even amidst cybersecurity attacks.

Application of advanced technology

VNIS platform is equipped with Multi WAF, utilizing multiple Cloud WAF clusters globally, ready to leverage dense cloud infrastructure to quickly isolate threats when website traffic surges. Accompanied by the WAF network monitoring system (Scrubbing Center), coordinating the activities of Cloud WAF clusters in multiple countries, it enhances the effectiveness of DDoS Layer 7 protection.

Utilizing AI, VNETWORK has developed an AI Load Balancing system combined with Real User Monitoring (RUM) to analyze detailed attack sources, report user interactions with websites, and route traffic optimally. The AI Load Balancing system automatically detects the shortest route between servers and users through RUM and Synthetic Monitoring, optimizing traffic routing. Moreover, it allows load balancing across multiple servers with options such as IP hash, round-robin, or failover.

Comprehensive systems monitoring

Continuous 24/7/365 monitoring provides real-time updates on the business system's status and sends early warnings when attacks occur, enabling businesses to identify the type of attack and choose appropriate response measures.

24/7 expert SOC support

Understanding the urgency and necessity in security, VNETWORK has established Security Operation Centers (SOC) with a readiness spirit to minimize losses. Currently, VNETWORK's SOC teams are present in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, providing support and assistance to businesses in combatting cyberattacks.

With the VNIS platform and the support of expert SOC teams, businesses can enhance their resilience against ransomware attacks and ensure the continuous operation of their critical systems in the face of evolving cybersecurity threats.

Conclusion

In light of the complex ransomware attack landscape today, choosing the right security solution is crucial for businesses, directly impacting the safety and stability of their systems, as well as user experience and business operations. The VNIS platform represents a comprehensive and effective security solution, providing the necessary support for businesses to protect their websites, applications, and APIs from all potential attack vectors. For more information and to request a quote, please contact us via our Hotline at +84 (028) 7306 8789 or email us at contact@vnetwork.vn.

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