Cyber Attacks halting big companies like JBS and Colonial Pipeline with ransomware!

The latest cyber-attack on JBS one of the largest US beef supplier which represent more than one fifth of all US meat processing was halted for two days due to the attack. Scrambled to get back in line and return all systems. Also a few weeks ago the attack on the biggest fuel pipeline in the US that runs 5,500 miles. Operated by Colonial Pipeline halted it´s operations just the same way.

The attack known as ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim´s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment. Users are shown instructions for how to pay a fee to get the decryption key. The cost can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands or more, payable to cybercriminals in bitcoin.

There are several vectors ransomware can take to access a computer. One of the most common delivery systems is phishing spam — attachments that come to the victim in an email, masquerading as a file they should trust. Once they are downloaded and opened, they can take over the victim’s computer, especially if they have built-in social engineering tools that trick users into allowing administrative access. Some other, more aggressive forms of ransomware, like NotPetya, exploit security holes to infect computers without needing to trick users. There are several things the malware might do once it has taken over the victim’s computer, but by far the most common action is to encrypt some or all the user’s files.

51% of business were hit by ransomware in 2020. Projected cost of this attacks to be around $20 Billion by the end of 2020, being the average cost of the demand to be over $178,000 for a small business is around $5,900. 94% of data has being recovered after a ransomware incident. Every 14 seconds a company is hit by ransomware attacks. This are truly amazing figures. Not until I heard the recent news on JBS, and colonial had I seen such numbers. Truly striking to me. But when there is a challenge there is an opportunity. Ransomware protection is out there with pretty good solutions. Guess is time to evaluate risk and prepare for these events.