Scammers continue to defraud and extort funds from businesses using Cryptowall ransomware
Data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) shows ransomware continues to spread and is infecting devices around the globe. Recent IC3 reporting identifies CryptoWall as the most current and significant ransomware threat targeting U.S. individuals and businesses.
CryptoWall and its variants have been used actively to target U.S. victims since April 2014. The financial impact to victims goes beyond the ransom fee itself, which is typically between $200 and $10,000. Many victims incur additional costs associated with network mitigation, network countermeasures, loss of productivity, legal fees, IT services, and/or the purchase of credit monitoring services for employees or customers. Between April 2014 and June 2015, the IC3 received 992 CryptoWall-related complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling over $18 million.
How do you get infected?
The problem begins when the victim clicks on an infected advertisement, email, or attachment, or visits an infected website. Once the victim’s device is infected with the ransomware variant, the victim’s files become encrypted. In most cases, once the victim pays a ransom fee, he or she regains access to the files that were encrypted. Most criminals involved in ransomware schemes demand payment in Bitcoin. Criminals prefer Bitcoin because it’s easy to use, fast, publicly available, decentralized, and provides a sense of heightened security/anonymity.
Although our clients are protected with different levels of security, we ask all users to be skeptical. Don’t click on any emails or attachments you don’t recognize, and avoid suspicious websites altogether.
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