The Grandeur of GandCrab

Cyberspace has often been exploited for financial gains. Different permutations and combinations have been used for financial frauds, varying from the stealing of personal data online to skimming debit/credit cards. In recent years, ransomware attacks have become a trend for committing cyber crime. Although the first ever recorded use of ransomware occurred as early as 1989 in the form of the AIDS Trojan, which was used to encrypt hard disks followed by a demand for ransom in return for decryption, this method gained prominence only after the unleashing of the WannaCry Ransomware in 2017. The latter was a massive attack that affected more than 200,000 systems in some 150 countries and accounted for a loss of several million dollars. Since then, the use of ransomware has seen an upward trend.

Malware + Ransom = Ransomware

Ransomware is a kind of malware (software that damages the functions or gains unauthorised access to a computer system) that is used to encrypt important documents or files within a system (Crypto ransomware) or simply lock the original user out of the system (Locker ransomware). The user is then asked for a ransom in return for decrypting the files. Once the ransom is paid within a stipulated period, then the system is either unlocked or the system’s contents are deleted or the system is entirely corrupted. Unlike other cyber attacks, in this form of attack, the user is notified of the attack. Initially, ransomware attacks followed a pattern akin to fire and forget, that is, it was used for small scale extortion from individuals. Now, however, the pattern has shifted to more focused and targeted attacks for larger returns like targeting the server of an organisation. The effect is to turn entire organisations into victims rather than individual users, and the pay-off for the extra effort involved in performing this kind of an attack is often huge. ..Read more..

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