Remote encryption based ransomware attacks on rise

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Over the past year, criminal organizations such as Alphv, LockBit, Akira, Black Basta, and Royal have increasingly engaged in remote encryption attacks. In these cyber assaults, perpetrators target the most vulnerable devices with minimal security, using them as entry points to compromise entire networks.

Due to the remote nature of the encryption process, in-house threat detection solutions find it challenging to identify and counteract such attacks. Recognizing the severity of this issue, cybersecurity firm Sophos has classified it as a significant cyber threat, warranting immediate attention from defenders.

Sophos, a UK-based security company, underscored in its report a notable 62% surge in intentional remote encryption attacks since September 2022, with projections indicating a further escalation in the coming years.

What adds a layer of complexity is the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) tactics by cybercriminals. Utilizing AI, these malevolent actors scan billions of devices for vulnerabilities, making their campaigns remarkably effective—up to 73% success rates—and lucratively profitable, yielding millions for the hackers.

In light of the approaching holiday season, Sophos has issued a cautionary alert, pointing out that prominent ransomware groups are expected to target both large and small companies. The firm particularly urges organizations in the technology, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors to maintain heightened vigilance against potential threats. Furthermore, they recommend keeping IT staff on high alert to promptly respond to any unforeseen situations.

It is crucial to note that hackers commonly infiltrate networks through phishing or brute force attacks. Once inside a network, they initially steal information and subsequently encrypt it, demanding a ransom for its release. In the case of remote ransomware encryption, criminal groups actively seek out vulnerable devices as entry points, bypassing traditional security measures and posing an escalating threat to cybersecurity.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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