Over the last few years, ransomware has stood out as being of the most destructive and pernicious cyber attacks in history. Global ransomware attacks have disrupted public health and transportation systems as well as municipal governments. Data backups are the best protection strategy against ransomware, but sophisticated hackers have come up with a way to defeat this strategy.
New Ransomware Security Threats
Earlier this year, information security experts detected a new ransomware strain that detects the presence of backups in an infected system and either proceeds to delete them or encrypt them before applying an encryption layer to the rest of the files. Once this is accomplished, a ransom message will be displayed with instructions to make payments, usually in the Monero cryptocurrency, for the purpose of obtaining a key to decrypt the infected files.
Protecting Data From Cyberattacks
As previously mentioned, a reliable and secure backup strategy is the best protective measure against ransomware attacks; however, the Zenis ransomware threat actually targets backups before proceeding to the encryption stage. The way Zenis works is by searching for known backup locations within a system, and this may include separate hard drive partitions, external hard drives and even USB keys connected to desktops, laptops, and tablets. Security researchers are concerned that future versions of Zenis could feature a way to breach cloud data backups that are not properly secured.