LOL! Ransomware is no laughing matter

Yes, it’s finally happened. Hackers have been personally awarded the most frustrating name that has ever been given to a Ransomware strand…LOL!

Ransomware is certainly one of the hottest cyber security topics to hit the press, TSG blogs and sadly, businesses across the UK. In 2016, 54% of businesses in the UK were either hit or disrupted in some way by Ransomware. This seems like a massive figure given the volume of hacks that are committed every day.

So, what exactly is LOL! Ransomware, and why is it different to other strands of the malicious malware?

LOL! Is essentially an advanced form of the PGPCoder Ransomware. Here’s an example of what an attack will look like.

Let’s say you have a precious file named ‘important.jpg’. LOL! Ransomware will encrypt this, and essentially rename it to ’important.jpg.LOL!’. When you try to open your file, you are then prompted with a ransom demand. The ransom demand message is divided in two sections: “JOKE” and “SERIOUSLY”. While the first section simply mocks the victim’s ‘poor knowledge’ and encourages them to take cyber security-related lessons, the second provides information regarding the encryption. It is stated that the files are encrypted using asymmetric cryptography and that they can only be restored via a unique decryption tool. This encryption is of such an advanced level, there are only two options. You can pay the hacker for the access key to retrieve your key information and restore your data back to normal. An unlikely story given that they have your money by this point, so why would they help you?

Before we go into option two – which is the knight in shining armour – it’s worth reminding everyone that, although many anti-virus defences are strong and suitable for general viruses and clean-ups, you cannot underestimate the devastation that Ransomware and other advanced threats can cause. Wonga, the large payday loan company has recently been hacked, and in the news and media we hear of small, medium and large businesses being infiltrated for criminal financial gain on the dark web. Can you honestly go a day longer without the certainty of knowing your business is safe? Or are you prepared to be attacked, potentially charged thousands of pounds (or more!), for a potential loss of earnings and then make the decision to protect your business in retrospect?

Finally, option 2 offers another way around LOL! Ransomware attacks, and other variations of Ransomware attacks. This is an advanced, patented security tool, something that will reverse and block the effects of any Ransomware attacks so that no files become encrypted, and something that will give you peace of mind as a business that you’re safe from these attacks.

Sophos Intercept X is a Ransomware buster, a digital knight in shining armour.

Launched around 6 months ago, Intercept X has saved businesses from the painful impact of Ransomware attacks, and many of those protected businesses are indeed TSG customers. One of our customers deployed Sophos Intercept X, and 10 days later was ‘hit’ with Ransomware. Thankfully they weren’t even aware as Intercept X prevented the attack. You can imagine their faces when we told them Intercept X saved them!

So, what does Intercept X have that other anti-Ransomware tools don’t have?

Cryptoguard is the patented Sophos technology that makes Intercept X stand miles ahead of the competition. With this exclusive security technology, Sophos can offer a digital shield that will prevent your business from going under.