Victims of Cryakl ransomware could now able to get their files back without paying a ransom to cybercriminals, after the decryption key was released for free as part of the No More Ransom initiative. Launched by Europol in 2016, the scheme brings law enforcement and private industry together in the fight against cybercrime and has helped thousands of ransomware victims retrieve their encrypted files without lining the pockets of crooks. Cryakl has been active since September 2015 and, like other forms of ransomware, it searches an infected system for files, encrypts them, then demands payment for providing the key needed to retrieve the files. It also threatens to delete the encrypted files if payment isn't received within a week. Unlike more recent forms of ransomware which ask for payments to be made into a cryptocurrency wallet, victims of Cryakl are asked to contact the attackers by email.
Cybersecurity experts report a recent increase in ransomware, phishing attacks and malware in South Africa, and cybercriminals are also finding a raft of opportunities as more businesses move into e-commerce for the first time. What is also interesting is that even physical, real-world crime is becoming more digital. Companies in the vehicle-recovery and fleet-management space – such as ours – use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to track and trace vehicles. While technology is an invaluable tool for protecting people and property, it demands requires constant innovation. In the case of something like car-jamming and signal-jamming technology, real-world crime has now entered the cellular and radio space.
Ransomware remains the top malware threat to organisations, causing millions of dollars of damage and remaining a potent tool for cyber criminals and nation-state attackers. The rise of highly targeted file-locking malware campaigns and the threat posed by nation-state backed campaigns, means ransomware "remains the key malware threat in both law enforcement and industry reporting," warns Europol's 2018 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report. The damage of high profile campaigns like WannaCry, NotPetya and Bad Rabbit still loom large in the memory, with figures in the report suggesting a global loss of more than $5bn as a result of these attacks. At a smaller scale, ransomware families like Cerber, Cryptolocker, Crysis, CTBLocker, Dharma and Locky are cited among those most damaging to businesses over the past 12 months. However, the ever-evolving nature of ransomware means the threat is always changing.
When you see the figures, it's no surprise that the cost of cybercrime is causing considerable concern to governments and business leaders across the globe. By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts, cybercrime "will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually". An international 2018 PwC study of 1,293 CEOs revealed their fear of cybercrime as a risk to growth is up 16 percent in the past year alone, perhaps reflecting emerging anxieties about ransomware and state-sponsored hacking. Compared with their peers, leaders in the Middle East ranked fears around cyber threats higher, at 54 percent, than anywhere else. More widely, cyber threats ranked just behind overregulation on 42 percent and terrorism, 41 percent, and on a par with geopolitical uncertainty.
The rise of ransomware means the total cost of damages related to attacks using cryptographic file-locking software could reach 1 billion this year, a report cybersecurity company Herjavec Group has warned. The report, Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation, suggest that individuals and organisations who feel they have no choice but to pay a fee to unlock their files have lead to the rise of this particular cyberattack. It even notes how even the law itself isn't except from becoming a victim as police departments have been infected with ransomware and have had to pay a ransom to unlock the encrypted files. It's estimated that last year saw cybercrime victims pay out 24 million to hackers deploying ransomware. According to the Herjavec Group, the amount paid out by victims of ransomware in just the first three months of this year came to a total of 209 million.