Story image

Ransomware on the rise in Aus and NZ, ESET says

24 Feb 2016

ESET has detected ransomware on Joomla domains, and says it is becoming an increasingly common and complex security threat globally.

The digital protection firm says it has observed a significant increase in ransomware in Australia and New Zealand as of late.

In response, the company has provided some advice for local businesses and consumers on how to prevent and combat ransomware attacks.

“Ransomware is becoming an extremely popular way to extort money, whether it is from individuals or companies,” explains Nick FitzGerald, senior research fellow at ESET.

"Understanding the methods of propagation and how to combat ransomware in the case of an infection, is key to limiting your susceptibility to ransomware,” he says.

FitzGerald says businesses and consumers need to be aware that sending malicious downloads with hidden file-extensions or .EXE files inside ZIP archives, are common tactics among e-criminals looking to use ransomware.

“Avoid downloading files that are not from an official source and remember that no genuine executable code will be delivered to you via email,” he says.

“Also, make sure your security software is up to date, and all your data is regularly backed up.”

FitzGerald says if a business or consumer is faced with ransomware, they should not panic and should not pay the ransom.

“Firstly, recovery may be possible with the help of a computer professional such as the support staff from your security product supplier who may be able to decrypt files for free,” he explains.

“Secondly, although malware writers say they will decrypt your files, this doesn’t guarantee they actually can, even if you do pay.”

FitzGerald continues, “If you realise, or even just suspect, that your device has just become victim to ransomware you should immediately disconnect from your WiFi or unplug from your network, to minimise the spread and impact of the ransomware.

“Next, seek expert assistance,” he sys.

“By combining the use of good security practices with a reliable security solution, being protected from malware is definitely possible,” FitzGerald says.

“As ransomware is expected to continue rising in volumes and complexity, particularly in ANZ, it is important that all businesses and consumers are aware of how to protect themselves and their data from these attacks,” he says. 

SecOps: Clear opportunities for powerful collaboration
If there’s one thing security and IT ops professionals should do this year, the words ‘team up’ should be top priority.
Interview: Culture and cloud - the battle for cybersecurity
ESET CTO Juraj Malcho talks about the importance of culture in a cybersecurity strategy and the challenges and benefits of a world in the cloud.
Enterprise cloud deployments being exploited by cybercriminals
A new report has revealed a concerning number of enterprises still believe security is the responsibility of the cloud service provider.
Ping Identity Platform updated with new CX and IT automation
The new versions improve the user and administrative experience, while also aiming to meet enterprise needs to operate quickly and purposefully.
Venafi and nCipher Security partner on machine identity protection
Cryptographic keys serve as machine identities and are the foundation of enterprise information technology systems.
Machine learning is a tool and the bad guys are using it
KPMG NZ’s CIO and ESET’s CTO spoke at a recent cybersecurity conference about how machine learning and data analytics are not to be feared, but used.
Seagate: Data trends, opportunities, and challenges at the edge
The development of edge technology and the rise of big data have brought many opportunities for data infrastructure companies to the fore.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.