Okay, so no, we don’t expect you to sit your kids down at a computer and explain the dangers of ransomware instead of visiting a haunted house. But it’s important to understand that people dressed as chainsaw-wielding villains don’t hold a candle to the very real threat of different cybercrimes.
In popular cyberthriller movies, the hero has to stop the hackers before they can launch the nuclear bomb or unleash the deadly virus on the world. The reality, while far more mundane, is also far scarier when you stop to examine the consequences of an attack on critical, net-based infrastructure.
A new form of ransomware and has crippled multiple websites and mass transit outlets.
If you could spend just a few minutes talking to your high school self about life in the future, how do you think your younger half would react? What would you say about this thing called the internet, or smartphones, or always listening virtual assistants or self-driving cars?
Every time a celebrity leaks a new risque picture, it is followed by claims that the picture “broke” the internet. Fortunately, nude photos of an A-lister do not have the power to take down the web, but a discovery by a security researcher just might.
In this climate of record-setting data breaches, it’s far too easy to assume that hackers only go after the “big guys.” While nabbing millions of customers’ records from a major brand-name corporation might be a great payoff for cybercriminals, the reality is smaller businesses are just as likely, if not more likely, to be a target.
Ransomware attacks have taught the cybersecurity community an important lesson: paying the ransom in no way means you’re going to be released from the situation. In fact, it could have the opposite effect: you’re now a scammer’s cash cow because of your willingness to pay.