What is Double Extortion Ransomware?

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What is Ransomware?

A hostage situation exists due to ransomware. It is a form of malicious software or malware that takes data, encrypts it, and then prevents the rightful owners from accessing it until the attacker receives the ransom demanded by the attacker. The ransom cost can range widely, from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Most of the time, a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, etc., is required as payment. The victim is required to satisfy the attacker's deadline, which is specified.

It Is important to realize that it might not just be compromised files and data. Users' access to any or all of their systems may be restricted, and they may be locked out.

What Exactly is a Double Ransomware Attack?

A twofold extortion ransomware attack steps up the ante and advances the conventional ransomware attack. The online attacker exploits the victim's data, files, or even the entire server. A ransom is requested, and the data is encrypted. "DoppelPaymer" is another name for the process of encrypting files as part of a ransomware assault. All of this has thus far been a standard ransomware attack.

In double extortion, however, the attackers go one step further and threaten to sell the confidential information to the highest bidder, post it on the dark web, or destroy it if the ransom is not paid by the due date. Backups are excellent for restoring data, but they cannot lessen the impact of stolen data.

The key is that the malicious hacker has more power to guarantee payment is made. Numerous institutions, such as law firms, hospitals, and schools, to name a few, keep enormous volumes of sensitive data that, if compromised, may be disastrous for both the institution and the persons involved. The effectiveness and danger of double extortion ransomware attacks are due to this.

The Sequence of Double Extortion Ransomware Attacks

The common steps that cybercriminals take while launching a double extortion ransomware attack are as follows −

  • By any means required, the threat actor gets initial access to the victim's system.

  • The hacker then searches the network for all the important information.

  • The data is then exfiltrated by the attacker or ransomware gang.

  • The system is subsequently infected with the ransomware that the attacker has chosen.

  • Data encryption is used.

  • Access to the information kept hostage is prohibited to the victim.

  • The ransom is requested, and what will happen if it is not paid is made clear.

  • The information should be returned and access provided if the ransom is paid.

How to Stop Ransomware Attacks That Use Double Extortion

Attacks using double extortion ransomware are very risky, expensive, and have no assurance of success. As to make matters worse, attacks are happening more frequently and are getting more vicious and aggressive in nature. The good news is that you may take preventative measures to safeguard your business from double extortion ransomware assaults.

Architecture with Zero Trust

When it comes to trust, your organization should have a zero-trust policy. Applications, websites, emails, and links shouldn't be automatically trusted; rather, they should require a thorough authentication procedure before access is given. This calls for the implementation of the following three principles −

  • Cut down on the attack surface by using a proxy-based brokered exchange to hide users and network applications from the Internet.

  • Reduce the capacity to move laterally. − If the information is hidden, hackers can't steal it. In order to decrease the likelihood that an attacker will be able to move laterally through your servers, steal more data, and cause more damage, it is important to conceal data from view appropriately.

  • Monitor all incoming and outgoing communications continuously for signs of a potential data breach. This covers both encrypted and unencrypted data.

Make sure security policies are applied uniformly

It can be challenging for larger businesses to ensure that safety procedures and rules are constantly followed. However, making sure users always take the proper security precautions is worth the effort and money. Implementing a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture is the most effective approach to do this. No matter who uses the system or where it is located, this technology ensures that security regulations are followed.

Update security programs and protocols

The most susceptible software to cyberattacks is out-of-date software. A priority should always be given to security updates. Your IT team must conduct routine scans to look for updated software and install it as soon as feasible.

Make sure the following is established −

  • A few recovery strategies to prevent data loss

  • A number of data backups

  • Dual-factor or multiple-factor authentication (makes it harder for cybercriminals to crack).

Educate the users

Provide users with in-depth training on double extortion ransomware attacks so they are aware of what they are and the terrible consequences they can have on the business or even specific employees inside the business. Employees must be aware of the warning signs and the precautions they might take to avoid aiding one of these attacks. All new hires should receive training, and it should be followed up with more training after a certain amount of time (e.g., three years).

Implement protective measures

Although taking preventative measures is unquestionably beneficial, they do not offer complete protection from double extortion ransomware assaults. Even well-known businesses are susceptible to ransomware assaults. Adopting trustworthy attack surface management software gives your business's network the highest level of security. You have a much higher chance of spotting possible threats before they develop into full-fledged attacks with a 360-degree perspective.

Implement a solution to manage attack surfaces

Continuous monitoring ensures that merging cyber threats are immediately alerted, keeping you safe from double extortion ransomware assaults.

Updated on 05-Aug-2022 12:43:43