Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to break into networks to steal data. As a result, cybersecurity risks evolve continuously, and organizations must be continuously on the lookout for new developments in this area.
For organizations in Australia’s public sector, a new type of ransomware known as “leakware” is now becoming more prevalent. Organizations at risk of leakware attacks should take steps to protect themselves and their data.
What Is Leakware?
Leakware is a specific type of ransomware attack usually targeted at public sector organizations. To execute this attack, cybercriminals use malicious software to access the organization’s confidential citizen data. Once the data has been stolen, the cybercriminal will threaten to publish the data online unless the organization pays a specific ransom.
According to Technology Decisions, one example of this type of attack was targeted at the city of Johannesburg’s computer network. The cybercriminals responsible for this attack are known as the “Shadow Kill Hackers.” The hackers demanded four bitcoins as payment, which amounts to more than $50,000. In the end, the city refused to pay the ransom.
The Future of Leakware
The attack on Johannesburg was only the second leakware attack that has ever been recorded. However, experts predict that more hackers will attempt to employ this type of attack in the future. Because this type of attack is relatively new and different from other cyber attacks, many public sector organizations and even private organizations may face a leakware attack completely unprepared.
If your organization becomes a victim of leakware, you will be forced to either pay the ransom or allow the hackers to release sensitive data. Even if you choose to pay the ransom, the hackers may still go back on their word and demand more money from you and/or decide to monetize the stolen data in other ways. For this reason, preventative measures are highly recommended.
Protecting Your Organization from Leakware
At this time, protecting against the effects of leakware is challenging. Traditional methods used to mitigate the risks of ransomware, such as keeping backup copies of all sensitive data, will not work in these cases. Your organization would be able to recover the data it needs, but hackers could still choose to release it to the public, regardless of whether you pay the ransom. The best thing you can do to protect your organization from the threat of leakware is to prevent this malicious software from breaching your network in the first place.
Steadfast Solutions is an established, trustworthy IT company providing services to organizations throughout Australia. If you are concerned about the threat of leakware or other cyber attacks, we can help you to keep your network as safe and secure as possible. Please contact us today to learn more about our services.