Increase in ransom-ware attacks on companies
A new wave of ransomware attacks targeting businesses is underway, security company Northwave warned, speaking to NOS. With this type of malware, cammers seize valuable information from companies and make them pay a hefty sum to gain back access to their own data.
Northwave noticed that since last week Thursday a known group of cybercriminals has been sending phishing emails containing malware software. The mails usually claim to stem from DocuSign, a site used to sign documents virtually.
Through the malware, cybercriminals are able to gain access to essential information from the company, and block the company's access to these files. Within hours of opening the phishing email, the entire company network is usually in the hands of the attackers, Northwave said. The ransom money itself is requested a couple of days later.
Initially, online scammers targeted people mostly privately. But they soon found much bigger gains by targeting organizations. Last year, the University of Maastricht was willing to pay 200 thousand euros during a ransom attack to be able to get their institution up and running again.
Northwave has been noticing an increase in cyberattacks for over a month now. “In December and in the first week of January, attackers were also extremely active”, Steven Dondorp of Northwave said to NOS. “Many organizations are under-staffed during that time giving scammers a golden opportunity.”