SophosLabs 2018 Malware report says that no OS Platform is safe from Ransomware attacks

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UK based Cyber Security firm SophosLabs has released a malware forecast report which says that no OS platform is safe from ransomware related cyber attacks. Here, readers of Cybersecurity Insiders have to notify a fact that the SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast report was compiled based on the data collected from Sophos customers located worldwide during April 1 to Oct 3 of this year.

The highlight of the report is that ransomware developers not only attacked all variants of Windows operating systems in 2017, but they also targeted Linus, MacOs, and Android platforms.

“That means ransomware being developed these days is platform agnostic and so can target different devices running on different OSes ”, said Dorka Palotay, Chief Researcher, and Contributor at SophosLabs Security.

The SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast also tracked down the growth patterns of ransomware, indicating that WannaCry which targeted more than 250,000 global computers in May’17 succeeded in dethroning longtime ransomware leader Cerber which led the malware pack since early 2016. WannaCry accounted for 45.3% of all ransomware tracked through SophosLabs with Cerber accounting for 44.2%.

SophosLabs 2018 Malware report also mentions the sharp rise and fall of NotPetya Ransomware which wrecked the digital world in June 2017.

FYI, NotPetya Ransomware was distributed through a Ukraine based accounting firm’s software package; mainly targeting firms operating across Ukraine and some parts of Europe.

Researchers from SophosLabs conclude that NotPetya was actually meant to destroy data and not to encrypt data for ransom. So, they confirm that the said malware is actually a wiper and not ransomware.

Sophos advises ransomware victims not to pay for ransomware and instead recommends best practices, including data backup, patching up systems with the latest security updates and replacement of infected systems with latest hardware and software.

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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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