“Pay The Ransom” Says FBI Ransomware Advice

Ransomware is a significant threat to huge corporations as it is to you and me, the notion of every single byte of your personal files being locked up is a frightening thought to those who have treasured memories in the form of images and documents. How effective is Ransomware? It turns out very considering the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is warning companies that they may be better of paying the ransom to the attackers in order to see their files again.

This centres on the success rate of Cryptolocker, Cryptowall and also other forms of ransomware that utilizes ultra-secure encryption algorithms in order to lock up data.  Joseph Bonavolonta who is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s CYBER and Counter intelligence Program in its Boston office was speaking at the Cyber Security Summit 2015 where he stated that “The ransomware is that good”.

This form of attack has been around for more than a decade which is slightly surprising considering one associates this technique as a newish phenomenon. Although the last three years have seen attacks rise sharply via both malicious email attachments and also drive by downloads which include Malvertising.

According to the FBI, Cryptowall is the most common form of ransomware considering it had received 992 complaints that totalled $18 million in losses. The FBI still wants firms to contact their local law enforcement agency, but, if a company’s data is locked then in all probability the FBI will not be able to retrieve it without a ransom payment.

An interesting element is the feeling that if attackers keep ransoms low for consumers, a bigger percentage will just pay, after all, many people have expendable income and may be inclined to pay.

I am not sure this advice from Joseph Bonavolonta is necessarily helpful, granted, I can understand his sentiments that the FBI may not be able to retrieve any data without a ransom payment, but, if you advise people to pay then this will keep happening over and over again. Criminals partake in these practices in order to make money; if they are making money then I am sure they would feel it’s worthwhile.

Also, there is no guarantee that you would actually gain access to your data once a ransom has been paid, after all, there is no incentive to do so despite Mr Bonavolonta’s reassurances that “You do get your access back”

The best prevention is to be aware of any email attachments or links contained within spam emails and to Not Click on them, if you’re expecting an attachment from a known source, always verify the email just in case said source has been hacked themselves. Any attachments should be scanned to be on the safe side if you trust the email, if you don’t, don’t download or click anything, I know that Nigerian Billionaire sounds tempting, but it’s not worth it, also, always keep your system backed up for a variety of reasons.

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Dyre Wolf Attack Reels in over $1 Million in Wire Transfers

IBM’s Security division has been researching a malware attack they have named ‘The Dyre Wolf’ which is said to have been responsible for stealing over $1 million.

It is said that the hacking campaign uses targeted spear phishing emails, malware and a phone conversation on organisations that use wire transfers.

IBM stated that the attack starts with a single user opening an infected email attachment, having it contacting the attacker’s website and downloading the Dyre malware that hijacks the user’s address book and mails itself through the organisation.

After the infection mentioned above takes place, if a user attempts to log into a banking site, it loads up a new screen that says the site is experiencing issues and shows a phone number for the user to call and make their transaction.

Once the attacker has all the user’s details, a wire transfer is made that runs through a series of international banks. IBM recommends that companies train their employees not to open suspicious attachments or links and remind them that banks do not request their banking credentials in any way.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information

$5,000 Can Nab You a Copy Cat of Your Ex-Partner Thanks to Match.com

Do you have a hard time letting go? Possible attachment issues? Match.com has the answer for you!

Thanks to a new advancement in their technologies, Match.com now gives users the option to search for a new relationship candidate based purely on their facial structure. It has been reported that Match.com are running this service through Los Angeles-based facial recognition experts Three Day Rule – as reported by Mashable.com.

In a more scientific and positive approach, Three Day Rule’s founder Talia Goldsetin stated:

“People have a type and it’s not necessarily about height or race or hair color, but a lot of it is about face shape” Mashable.com

As with all new technology however this comes with a hefty price tag of $5,000 USD, which includes a six month total package. Not only do you get access to the facial recognition technology, but you receive a personal ‘dating guidance councillor’ (matchmaker) who will meet with you to determine your wants and needs, sift through potential applicants and even go on pre-dates to determine the candidates potential.

To help determine the type you’re after, this matchmaker will process photo’s of your ex-partners and use Three Day Rule’s software to help determine some potential matches.

Goldstein also stated:

“I’ve noticed over my years in matchmaking that people have types. I always ask my clients to send me photos of their exes. They say that they don’t have a type, but when I see the photos, to me they look very similar. The ex’s may be different ethnicities, or have different hair color, but their facial structures are the same.”  Mashable.com

For those desperately seeking love, what have you got to lose? This service can be found on Match.com

Photo courtesy of cngl