Connect with us

E-Business

Sophos Identifies Top Ransomware Families in Africa

Published

on

Cyber security vendor Sophos has identified the top ransomware families that affected Africa in 2017.

According to Sophos, the Ceber ransomware accounted for 80% of attacks in Africa, followed by WannaCry (17%), and others like Jaff (1%), Locky (1%) and Petya (0.5%).

One of the most active kinds of ransomware out there, Cerber encrypts the files of infected users and demands money in exchange for enabling access to their files. It works even if a user is not connected to the Internet, so they can’t stop it by unplugging their PC.

Cerber, sold as a ransomware kit on the Dark Web, remains a dangerous threat, says Sophos, adding the creators of Cerber continuously update the code and charge a percentage of the ransom that the “middle-men” attackers receive from victims.

Regular new features make Cerber not only an effective attack tool, but perennially available to cyber criminals, the cyber security firm notes.

“This Dark Web business model is unfortunately working and, similar to a legitimate company, is likely funding the ongoing development of Cerber. We can assume the profits are motivating the authors to maintain the code,” says Dorka Palotay, SophosLabs security researcher and contributor to the ransomware analysis in the SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast.

The WannaCry ransomware attack was a May 2017 worldwide cyber attack by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin crypto-currency.

“Looking at the whole world, WannaCry was responsible for 45.3% of the ransomware attacks, while in Africa this value is only 17%,” Palotay says.

“In Africa, clearly Cerber was the biggest ransomware threat this year, since 80% of the ransomware lookups was caused by Cerber, while this number is only 44.2% if we look at the whole world. Regarding the smaller families, the results are very similar.”

The SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast report recaps ransomware and other cyber security trends based on data collected from Sophos customer computers worldwide from 1 April to 3 October 2017.

One key finding shows that while ransomware predominately attacked Windows systems in the last six months, Android, Linux and MacOS platforms were not immune.

“Ransomware has become platform-agnostic. Ransomware mostly targets Windows computers, but this year, SophosLabs saw an increased amount of crypto-attacks on different devices and operating systems used by our customers worldwide,” says Palotay.

She notes that for the first time Sophos saw ransomware with worm-like characteristics, which contributed to the rapid expansion of WannaCry.

“This ransomware took advantage of a known Windows vulnerability to infect and spread to computers, making it hard to control.

“Even though our customers are protected against it and WannaCry has tapered off, we still see the threat because of its inherent nature to keep scanning and attacking computers. We’re expecting cyber criminals to build upon this ability to replicate as seen in WannaCry and NotPetya, and this is already evident with Bad Rabbit ransomware, which shows many similarities to NotPetya.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Business

IBM Study Unveils Hidden Costs of Data Breach

Published

on

IBM Security has released a global study examining the full financial impact of a data breach on a company’s bottom line.

The study found that hidden costs in data breaches — e.g., lost business, negative impact on reputation and employee time spent on recovery — can be a huge factor. In a “mega breach” of 1 million or more records, one-third of the cost derived from lost business.

And the cost is on the rise; since the 2017 report, the average cost of a data breach globally has increased 6.4 percent, to $3.86 million, according to IBM. The number of mega breaches is also up — from nine in 2013 to 16 in 2017.

The study, sponsored by IBM and conducted by Ponemon Institute, also reveals that:

– Average cost of a data breach involving 1 million records is nearly $40 million.

– Estimated cost of a breach involving 50 million records is $350 million.

– Average time to detect and contain a mega breach (365 days) is 99 days longer than for a smaller-scale breach.

– In a mega breach, the greatest cost is from lost business, estimated at nearly $118 million for a breach of 50 million records.

A major factor in lost business cost is customer turnover — a recent IBM/Harris poll found that 75 percent of consumers in the U.S. say that they will not do business with companies that they do not trust to protect their data.

“The truth is there are many hidden expenses which must be taken into account, such as reputational damage, customer turnover, and operational costs,” said Wendi Whitmore, global lead for IBM X-Force incident response and intelligence services. “Knowing where the costs lie and how to reduce them can help companies invest their resources more strategically and lower the huge financial risks at stake.”

Continue Reading

E-Business

Global Accelerex Trains Nigerian Security Agencies on Cyber Crime

Published

on

Global Accelerex Limited, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licenced Payment Terminal Service Provider and Payment Solution Service Provider, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, is set to train members of Nigeria’s Security Agencies on Cybercrime.

The event, which will hold on July 25, 2018 at Ladi Kwali Conference Center, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, will enrich participants’ knowledge of the cyberspace and increase their versatility in dealing with on-line crime.

This collaboration, first of its kind in the e-payment industry, is borne out of the company’s desire to rid the nation of cyber criminals who continue to bring the country’s name into disrepute.

In addition to learning about cyber vulnerability, attendees will also learn about insider threats and sophisticated cyber adversaries.

The forum will host more than 30 participants including officials of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Armed Forces, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, State Security Service, National Intelligence Agency and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Defence Intelligence Agency and Nigerian Custom Service.

“We applaud the effort of the Nigerian government in combating cybercrime and securing lives and property in the country. Global Accelerex is driven to compliment this effort to ensure that Nigeria is rid of these miscreants so that citizens can enjoy the cyberspace with the peace of mind they deserve.

It is absolutely critical that we support security operations so that Nigerians can use the internet freely, which is why this training is vital”, stated Stanley Peters, Chief Technology Officer of the company.

The National Security Adviser commends the initiative by Global Accelerex, saying that the move will definitely impact positively on the officers and the nation in general.

He added that continuous training is critical to stay ahead of criminals even as he revealed that attendees have shown a high level of enthusiasm at this unique opportunity.

Keynote speakers that will bring their experience to bear are Mr. Tahmeed Rab, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kaizen Solutions Group, Baltimore, USA and Mr. Peter Obadare, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode.

Both experts are acclaimed for their ground-breaking achievements in cyber security, risk and compliance, mobile forensics, network and system consulting.

Continue Reading

E-Business

Africa.com Acquires iAfrica

Published

on

Media holding company Africa.com has today announced its acquisition of Primedia and MTN-owned news portal, iAfrica.com. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In a statement, Africa.com says the acquisition builds on the company’s strength in running the news Web site and the business publisher’s network, a group of nearly fifty business content publishers on the continent who have joined Africa.com to create a digital audience of over 15 million influential business people.

Africa.com chairman and CEO, Teresa Clarke, will serve as executive editor of iAfrica.

“The acquisition of iAfrica creates a next generation South African media platform with a global reach,” says Clarke. “By acquiring iAfrica, we are able to combine editorial, technology, and marketing resources, bringing the benefits of more original content and better site performance to readers of both iAfrica and Africa.com.”

Laura Joseph Africa.com’s MD, adds: “We are fusing a legendary African news portal with an innovative and dynamic management team under one umbrella. With combined resources, we will continue to make each site better and better.”

According to the statement, Africa.com has already started its re-branding of the iAfrica.com news portal.

“Africa.com is known for its creative content in the form of slideshows, videos, and infographics, and we will bring these content forms to iAfrica,” notes Debra Winter, COO of Africa.com.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.