The leaves are changing, the sun is setting sooner, the wind is getting cooler and you’re probably grabbing the sweaters from the other closet. However, ransomware has never been hotter! Fall is officially upon us in the Northern hemisphere. With the days becoming shorter, the darkness descending hours earlier and the temperatures dropping, you might not be too happy that autumn has arrived.
Or maybe, quite the opposite, fall is your favorite season. Whether you love fall or you’re already missing summer, there is no day off when it comes to defending yourself from cyber criminals.
Whether you love fall or you’re already missing summer, watch out for the growing threat of ransomware during this season. Ransom-proof your PC with ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware against cyber extortion.
This year large-scale infections such as WannaCry and Petya may make ransomware seem like a new problem, but it’s not. It’s been around since at least 1989 and has become an increasingly lucrative business for criminals. Attackers are now more sophisticated. They can create malware faster, use anonymous digital currencies like Bitcoin to demand ransom and employ powerful hacking tools that are publicly available online.
“Criminal organizations have always found innovative ways to extort money,” Lesley Carhart, digital forensics expert, told CNNTech. “This is a lucrative way. It plays on people’s emotional and financial reliance on their computers and digital storage for everything.”
When it comes to cyber crime, online fraud attacks have their seasonal trends, and can almost be expected to rise and fall every year. There is tax season phishing and fraud, the summertime’s drop in activity, and most of all – holiday season e-commerce and malware attacks.
Cyber criminals take the holiday season seriously and prepare well in advance for their online shopping sprees, banking on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every other part of the shopping season. The reasons are easy to understand: criminals will try to get lost in the shuffle, taking advantage of the barrage of online transactions that come during the most wonderful time of the year.
The holidays are known to be a time for cyber criminals to exploit the poor security habits of unaware shoppers, but they are even more of a time for them to exploit unprepared merchants. Count on cyber criminals to come prepared this year with tricks and wares on all levels of sophistication. From the shallow to the advanced phishing attacks, threatening new banking Trojans, and mobile malware apps designed to facilitate card and online banking fraud.
Many ransomware attacks will still make the headlines. Sadly, as became apparent with WannaCry, simple steps could have been taken to protect computers against ransomware. Backing up critical files and keeping anti-virus software up to date are simple procedures that can provide the needed protection against an attack. Moreover, it is critical to ensure that your anti-virus software has anti-ransomware protection. It was too late for many affected by WannaCry.
Sometimes people fall into the trap of not taking the steps to protect their PCs. They tend to think along the lines of: ‘I just use the computer for Facebook’, or ‘for Skyping the kids’, as if using the computer for simple tasks will somehow cause it to be overlooked by a virus. Or even if they pay attention to the news stories about the attacks, they may see them as remote threats: ‘A rogue state or criminal gang would not target me’. And the problem is that statement is true; they do not target you alone. They target everyone who leaves their computer’s ‘door’ open.
Over 90 million people worldwide trust ZoneAlarm to protect their PCs and mobile devices with powerful anti-ransomware, antivirus software, firewall and additional virus protection solutions. Our internet security tools are designed with people’s cyber safety in mind, while using industry-leading solutions.
Indeed one of the most touted benefits of ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware is its security. Get safe during the season! Make ransomware one less thing to worry about other than the cooler weather coming up.