The recent rise of ransomware is high and alarming. It is also not new to the IT industry. The first ransomware attack took place in the late 1980s. It was the very first attack on a healthcare system. The patients were sent floppy disks to complete a questionnaire. The disk contained a virus which would only work at the 90th time a computer was started. Once the 90th was reached, a message appeared which asked the owner to pay a sum of money. This was the very first attack history has reported.
Initially the ransomware attack was only limited to changing your file name and moving a few folders, but later on, it evolved and the attackers actually came up with better encryption.
What contributed to the rapid growth of ransomware was the rise in cyber criminals and their need to launch their own attacks using other attackers’ software to earn money. This also led to an increase in different types of ransomware produced by a number of ransomware users.
As the technology has shrunk in size, the data it holds in such a miniature device is humongous. Like any industry, the Internet is also suffering at the hands of users and abusers. The web is holding more and more data then maybe what it had a week ago or a month ago. This rapid rise gives way to malicious malware.
These malware users look for loopholes and attack the weaker points of a website or a home based user. Hackers are using phishing and pharming to get any amount from $100 to $100,000. People are bound to pay as the data in question may be difficult to get back or re-establish.
The other reason is the vulnerability of websites and computer users. Thinking that you still haven’t been attacked or will not be attacked is a mistake. It has happened to a lot of people and will happen to others too.
What started as a big business target campaign, has turned into a huge business. People who have been running small businesses have also been reported to have getting threats and ransom demands on their websites or through their systems. It is also difficult to trace any hacker as the attackers have become more cautious and sophisticated in their approach and do not let any information leak out. They use many techniques like phishing and pharming to get some money out of anyone. The victims do not get any time to react or prepare for a precaution as they at times are asked to make payments within 2 days or less. The amount is high, but it has to be arranged as the victim might lose his or her important files.
Hence, anyone who has links on the dark side of the web may use the malware to launch his own attack series and gain money. These attackers also share important information and data with other people in the same game.