With the Emergence of Ransomware, Defense is Possible

Recently, ransomware has replaced the banking Trojan as the preferred malware for online thieving.  It is a software that still typically propagates as a Trojan, but once installed onto a computer, it restricts access to the infected computer system in some way so that the user can no longer access it and requires a payment in order to decrypt or release control back to the user.  It can deliver a devastating amount of damage to infrastructure upon which modern society relies.  For example, hospitals, police and fire departments, and other organizations have been known to fall victim to some instances of ransomware.  Recently, the University of Calgary in Canada fell victim to a 10-day attack, eventually paying upwards of $16,000 just to attempt a recovery of the university’s research data.  The email server was encrypted, but there is no evidence that any personal information or university research data were publicized.

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