SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Ransomware infection? Here’s how you control the damage

By Contributor
Mon 12 Nov 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Trustwave SpiderLabs digital forensics and incident response (APAC) senior consultant Michael Marcos

Eighteen months ago, ransomware hit headlines around the world with the WannaCry and Petya outbreaks which spread across 150 countries.

Since then, cryptojacking and other types of cyber threats grabbed headlines while ransomware incidents declined.

While the lower attack volume may suggest that file-encrypting ransomware is no longer a risk, that’s not the case.

Ransomware has evolved to be more sophisticated, crafty and targeted and remains a threat to businesses of all sizes. 

A case in point is GandCrab which kicked off 2018 with a flurry.

Since its January debut, new versions of the ransomware have been released as soon as a decryptor is developed.

Using the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model, the cybercriminals behind GandCrab concentrate on development and take a cut of the proceeds letting others with lesser technical skills run the campaigns.

Infection estimates to date are at nearly half a million victims globally with recent incidents reported in Australia.

In late September, the Australian Cyber Security Centre reiterated the need for Australian businesses to remain vigilant of ransomware and the damage, both reputational and financial, it can cause.

Without access to their files and data, a business can be crippled for days.

Their clients may no longer trust the business to keep the clients’ data secure. Moreover, with the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme and the EU General Data Protection Regulation, businesses can also potentially face significant fines for non-compliance.

Small-to-medium businesses (SMB) tend to assume that their business is too small to be a target.

Rather, SMBs are soft targets for cybercriminals.

According to the latest Commonwealth’s Stay Smart Online Small Business Guide, 59% of Australian organisations have their business interrupted by a cyber breach every month, and 43% of all cybercrime targets small business.

Generally, SMBs have less-sophisticated security programs in place and are unlikely to have IT or dedicated IT security staff to manage and respond to cyber threats.

Of course, preparation is always better than response.

There are many sources for steps to prevent ransomware in the first place including advice on the Commonwealth’s cyber.gov.au site.

However, if a business does fall victim to a ransomware attack, the advice from law enforcement agencies across the globe is never to pay a ransom. 

Disconnect the infected systems from network access

Ransomware like WannaCry contain routines for spreading across the network. Isolate the infected devices from all, wired and wireless, network connections.

However, do not turn the infected computer(s) off.

Doing so risks removing criminal evidence as well as possibly removing critical files which could be used to decrypt.

Check what type of ransomware infected your systems Take a picture of the ransomware message screen.

Security researchers have created web-based portals to help users by providing basic information on existing ransomware.

Two of the sites worth mentioning is ID Ransomware and No More Ransom Project.

 Both sites can help identify the ransomware that hit your systems and whether there are readily available tools to decrypt the infected files.

Check if the files can be recovered

Modern Windows OS, by default, saves the previous states of the system in case of breakdowns or BSOD (blue screen of death) errors.

Check if the previous state of the system can be restored using System Restore Point or Volume Shadow copies.

Note that some destructive ransomware such as WannaCry, Locky and Cryptolocker also delete these system snapshots to make recovery of files more difficult.

Locate the backups

Some computer devices pre-installed with Windows or Mac OS when purchased may have been set to backup automatically in a recovery drive or in the cloud.

Check for these functionalities and how it can help recover the infected files.

If the files are backed up on an external hard drive, avoid connecting it to the ransomware-infected device as it is still active, and the backup files can be encrypted.

As best practice, SMBs are recommended to follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy on making data resilient against ransomware attacks.

This strategy takes three copies of the data, stored in at least two different mediums with one copy stored in a location not accessible on the internet.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Cybersecurity
 Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Infoblox's State of Security Report spotlights Australian remote work hazards
Attackers exploit weak WiFi, remote endpoints, and the cloud, costing 50% of organisations over $1.3 million in breach damages.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps 
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.