Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website. Ransomware can be devastating to an individual or an organization. But now, there is a new threat involved with ransomware. This interesting news came to us from ZDNet in their article, “Ransomware: Cybercriminals are adding a new twist to their demands.”
A new trend among some ransomware attackers is to not just encrypt data, but steal some of it and use it as leverage to ensure a target pays up. This elevates the ransomware threat to a crisis level, especially for government organizations.
Ransomware attacks impacted at least 948 government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers at a potential cost in excess of $7.5 billion in the United States in 2019 so far. The impacted organizations included 103 federal, state, and municipal governments and agencies; 759 healthcare providers, and 86 universities, colleges, and school districts.
Melody K. Smith
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