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Ransomware attacks expected to grow further

Ransomware, a cyber-attack in which hackers use malware to encrypt all data on the disk, and then ask for ransom in Bitcoin, is expected to gain even more popularity this year, a new report says.

The April Cybercrime Alert report, released by phishing defence firm PhishMe, says ransomware attacks will grow in size, as the malware changes faster than detection technologies, paying ransom is still the safest way to get your data back, and one successful attempt usually means another one will strike soon.

What's more, humans are still extremely susceptible to phishing attacks, not paying attention and opening email attachments without thinking twice.

But it’s no longer just individuals who are at risk here – hackers are turning more to businesses, as these can be extorted for more money.

Through ransomware such as Cryptowall, TeslaCrypt, Locky, Cerber, Troldesh and CTB-Locker, hackers can extort thousands of dollars in Bitcoin – an anonymous cryptocurrency.

Rohyt Belani, PhishMe CEO and co-founder explained, “2016 is quickly shaping up to be the ‘year of the ransomware attack,’ which is not surprising, given the current state of information security and how organisations approach their overall defensive strategies. The combination of cryptocurrency, an increase in world-wide data connectivity, poor backup procedures, and employees who are ill-equipped to help defend against phishing attacks has led to the perfect storm for ransomware to succeed."

PhishMe advises all companies to take appropriate steps and protect themselves, by staging phishing simulation, educating their employees, providing them with easy ways to report suspicious emails, and backing up crucial data.