Korea ranks third in ransomware damage: research [2016/06/29 09:39]

South Korea was ranked as the third country with most ransomware attacks around the globe, a study has shown.

“Korea comes in as having the third most ransomware attacks after the United States and Japan,” stated Lim Jong-in, a professor at Korea University, at the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams conference.

According to data by Hauri Inc., an online security firm, the total number of ransomware cases in Korea from January to March has risen 17-fold, from 56 cases last year to 963 cases this year.

Ransomware is malware that blocks a user from using his computer system until a requested fee is paid. Hackers either lock the user’s screen or the user’s files until the user pays the ransom.

Targets have mostly been vital public organizations such as hospitals, police stations and fire stations that typically lack sophisticated cybersecurity.

The ransom is often paid in bitcoins, a virtual type of money that can be sent online. Transactions through bitcoins is commonly used as it is hard to trace due to its anonymity. Generally, hackers demand between $200 and $10,000, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Paying a ransom does not guarantee an organization that it will get its data back ? we’ve seen cases where organizations never got a decryption key after having paid the ransom,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor.

According to the Korean National Police Agency, the number of cybercrimes related to hacking viruses declined since 2010. Yet as ransomware cases continue to increase, a timely solution to this new type of hacking is essential.

Although Korea has several online security companies, including AhnLab and Plustech Inc., software that can completely protect one’s computer from ransomware has not yet been developed. It is currently almost impossible to retrieve data infected by this virus.

Ransomware was initially only transferred through email attachments and downloads, but it has recently been able to spread through operating systems, applications, and advertisements. The best way to prevent these attacks is to frequently back up data and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
출처: 주니어 영자신문 주니어헤럴드(junior.heraldm.com)