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If You Get Hacked, Avoid the Temptation to Pay Ransomware, Says Kaspersky Exec

Interview

If You Get Hacked, Avoid the Temptation to Pay Ransomware, Says Kaspersky Exec

Costin Raiu, the director of the global research and analysis team at cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky spoke to CTech about the coronavirus (Covid-19). The number of brute force attacks on remote desktops in quarantined countries increased from around 30 million in February to almost 100 million in March, according to Kaspersky’s data

Adi Pick | 10:34  01.05.2020
In the event that you or your data gets hacked, do not pay the ransomware, advised Costin Raiu, the director of the global research and analysis team at cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky. “The problem with ransom is that it works — it gives the cybercriminal incentive to keep hacking,” Raiu said in a Thursday interview with CTech.

“Our main advice is to not pay the ransom, even though it can be very enticing to just do it and get it over with. Instead, wait for a while, it is possible that the necessary encryption tools will become available to solve your problem,” he said.
Cyber activity (illustration). Photo: Keren Pinchevsky Cyber activity (illustration). Photo: Keren Pinchevsky Cyber activity (illustration). Photo: Keren Pinchevsky
“Whenever there is a big event happening such as an earthquake or a pandemic, you always know there will be a reflection of that event in cyberspace,” Raiu said. “We’ve seen many different types of attacks taking advantage of this pandemic,” he added.

The exact amount of attacks is hard to quantify, he said. “Some cyber organizations have said they specifically would not target hospitals and health organizations, but not all of them. Some cybercriminals will stop at absolutely nothing,” he explained.

“Attacks on hospitals, first responders, and healthcare providers should be treated as a terrorist attack because health organizations are trying to save lives, so preventing that is terrorism,” Raiu said.

The number of brute force attacks on remote desktops in quarantined countries increased from around 30 million in February to almost 100 million in March, according to Kaspersky’s data.

As for individuals, Raiu has some advice on how to avoid being the victim of cyberattacks during the pandemic. Many attacks these days are targeted to mobile phone users, and encourage people to open a link or to download an app. “Don’t click on stories too good to be true, and don’t click on unusual file extensions,” Raiu advises.

Many of the cyberattacks arise from clickbait emails with topics such as “don’t wear this type of mask” or “ this vegetable can save your life if you get sick,” Raiu says.

In order to avoid getting hacked, make sure you have strong passwords everywhere, Raiu recommends.
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