Your BBB® is hearing from more people having their computers held hostage due to ransomware. Ransomware is the process where your computer is locked in such a way that you cannot access your important files until paying someone. Ransomware is getting more dangerous, more costly and increasing according to Symantec’s (an Internet security company) Ransomware and Businesses 2016 report. The average ransom in 2015 was $294. It has increased to an average of $679 with most victims in the U.S.
Criminals infecting computers with ransomware are targeting both individuals and companies. Even then, you may not get your files back, or find that the use of your computer is crippled again to get more money from you. This perfected ransomware business model has created a gold-rush with growing numbers seeking to cash in. The number of strains of ransomware has exceeded 100.
Researchers expect to see ransomware move beyond laptops and computers, and start infecting IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Ransomware has been seen infecting a smart TV, and may expand to smart phones and watches. One worrying potential target is industrial control systems (ICS). There have already been examples of malware attacks against ICS devices. The potential for disruption that an ICS attack can inflict, combined with the potential revenue to be earned, lead experts to believe it is just a matter of time before attackers move to these devices.
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