3 Cyberattacks that occured while you were holiday shopping in 2019

For many the hustle and bustle of the season is still dying down. Some have received gifts from loved ones. Others, not so very pleasing emails or messages from ransomware attackers.

3 Ransomware and malware attacks of the holiday season in 2019

Sodinokibi Ransomware (REvil)

Sodinokibi Ransomware (REvil) modified their ransom note in tune with the holiday mood. The team added to their message saying, “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.” The email also reads, “have a great opportunity to enter the new year, leaving all the bad in the outgoing year. I advise you to write to us as soon as possible and not waste your precious time that you can spend with your family.” The message on its own does not ask the victim to pay. But, it does create a false-positive impact on those who resonate with the message of the content.

Maze Ransomware

Maze ransomware operators offered a holiday discount to victims. It even so far to offer a 25% discount if victims paid between December 25th and December 31st. This offer (worth USD 500,000) was only given to Bleeping Computer. “It is not known if they applied this discount retroactively to all of their victims, contacted them via the chat service, or some other means,” Bleeping Computer revealed.

Maze went one step further ‘for the holiday season.’ So, they decided to not publish the Pensacola city private information. They even confirmed that they deleted data from their servers.

Racoon Stealer

It is a new form of malware, detected in April 2019 for the first time. The malware is unique and fast-spreading. It can take screenshots, monitor emails, and steal information from browsers. Though it is of recent origin, Racoon Stealer has already spread across thousands of devices that use Windows operating systems. It has gain popularity from marketing as a service on underground forums for a flat fee of $200 per month.

General Rule – Don’t Pay

The general rule about ransomware is that the victims should not pay a ransom to the attackers. Paying the amount could encourage the attacker to continue such criminal behavior. To demotivate attackers, victims can restore information from the backup.

Before the holiday season, many notifications were issued in the public interest. Cyberattackers intend to target many businesses and not just individuals.

Cybercrimes are a regular occurrence. Enterprises should have hacking abilities to recognize vulnerabilities and protect data from criminals. This is done to test security systems and identify vulnerabilities before a breach.

3 Main functions of an ethical hacker

Finding vulnerabilities

Ethical hackers evaluate information systems to find vulnerabilities. This is then reported to the management. The reports help management make informed decisions to improve their security posture.

Demonstrating methods used by cybercriminals

Only by walking in the shoes of black-hat hackers can the intentions and intensity of the attack be assessed. This is why an ethical hacker intrudes the security structure. This makes it easier for businesses to assess where security policies must be implemented.

Helping organizations prepare for cyberattacks

Cyberattacks may damage business activities to a large extent, especially small businesses. Ethical hackers can prepare organizations to handle cyberattacks based on their knowledge.

Want to become an ethical hacker?

“To be a hacker, you need to think like a hacker”. Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) is a certified program that trains you on advanced hacking tools and techniques. These are generally used by hackers to get into an organization. The program will immerse you into the mindset of a hacker. By doing so, you will be able to defend information systems against future attacks. It covers 340 attack technologies, used by hackers.

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