2017 saw the rise of some pretty significant Ransomware attacks. You might remember “WannaCry”, which infected over 300,000 computers by locking the files on infected devices and promising their release through bitcoin payment. Or maybe you’ll recall “Adylkuzz”, the ransomware virus that “created” Monero coins (or bitcoin cryptocurrency) using the infected machines. And we can’t forget about “Petya”, that was similar to WannaCry in that it encrypted files on the infected PC.
With a new year comes new security threats. “Doxware” is a ransomware threat that security experts fear could skyrocket in 2018. Doxware is a type of virus that works in the opposite way of how we know Ransomware to work. Rather than locking away the files on an infected device, Doxware scares users by threatening to publish files for all the world to see. And you guessed it! The only way to stop the spread of the files is through payment. Although the Doxware threat isn’t new, it’s one that arguably isn’t as prominent as the ransomware we’ve come to know today. At least not yet.
"People have become desensitized to common ransomware, where it just encrypts your files," says Marcin Kleczynski, a Chief Executive of Information Security firm Malwarebytes. The new threat of Doxware ups the ante, and will once again put people on their toes.
After the increased popularity of Ransomware in 2017, people have begun to learn their lesson and backing up one’s files has become a little more commonplace. With Doxware, the safety of knowing your files are backed up is no longer enough.
To ensure you won’t fall victim to a Doxware attack or for that matter any type of ransomware attack, just remember to follow common and basic online safety habits:
- Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments
- Use strong passwords
- Keep files backed up consistently
- Use HTTPS plug-ins to ensure you’re browsing secure websites
- Keep your PC updated with the latest security patches and anti-virus software
2018 is young, and the threats are real. Be proactive in your efforts to keep your information safe so you don’t fall victim to a new security threat this year.
(Story via Sci-Tech Today)