Ransomware Disrupting Business Operations and Demanding Higher Payouts

Malicious actors are continually fine-tuning their tactics, and one of the best examples of this is the evolution of ransomware. Ransomware has largely been an opportunistic, rather than a targeted, form of cybercrime with the goal of infecting as many users as possible. That model has worked so effectively that extortion is now ubiquitous when it… Read More

Fake Extortion Demands and Empty Threats on the Rise

I’ve previously written about the rise of extortion as an emerging trend for 2017, but if you didn’t want to take my word for it, you should have listened to the numerous warnings shared at this year’s RSA 2017. Cyber-extortion has become one of the primary cybersecurity-related issues facing organizations — and it appears to be here… Read More

Weekly Cyber Risk Roundup: Ransomware and Insecure Databases Dominate Headlines

Ransomware and extortion continue to dominate the headlines in 2017. The past week saw several widely reported incidents involving service outages and lost data due to infections, as well as warnings that malicious actors are attempting to extort organizations via the threat of DDoS attacks. The Austrian hotel Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt paid approximately $1600 in… Read More

Weekly Cyber Risk Roundup: Ransomware Disrupts Organizations and Massive Data Leaks

Extortion is once again the top trending cybercrime issue as concern continues around the theft, destruction and blackmail related to thousands of insecure MongoDB, Elasticsearch, CouchDB and Hadoop Distributed File System installations. While those stories led much of the past week’s discussion, there was also a steady stream of reports of organizations being infected with… Read More

Weekly Cyber Risk Roundup: More Extortion and Marijuana Retailers’ Woes

Extortion continues to dominate the cybercrime headlines in 2017 with the week’s top two trending targets being the successful ransom at Los Angeles Valley College and continued extortion attempts around MongoDB databases. It was less than a year ago that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center became a national news story by paying a $17,000 ransomware demand… Read More

Weekly Cyber Risk Roundup: Russian Hacking and New Extortion Campaigns

This week’s top trending cybercrime story is a hack that wasn’t: Vermont’s Burlington Electric Department. A December 30 Washington Post story falsely claimed that Russian threat actors had penetrated the U.S. power grid via the Vermont utility. That story has since been widely debunked, as the alleged international hacking incident was set off by a… Read More

2017 Cyber Forecast: Blackmail Using Media and Sensitive Data Will Grow

The end of the year is drawing nearer, and with that comes a handful of traditions: family gatherings, eggnog by the fire, and everyone’s annual list of cybersecurity “predictions.” While it’s a bit semantic, I’m personally not a big fan of the term “predictions.” As someone who lives in the intel world, it’s more about… Read More

Stolen Data, Extortion and the Media: A Look at TheDarkOverlord

After making headlines by targeting a number of healthcare organizations over the summer, the cybercriminal actor known as TheDarkOverlord re-emerged last week with a new victim: California investment bank WestPark Capital. As we noted in last week’s cyber risk roundup, the leak of documents from WestPark Capital is the first time SurfWatch threat analysts have observed TheDarkOverlord targeting… Read More