RANSOMWARE! A GlOBAL SECURITY THREAT
I am sure many of us are familiar with this term . The reality of the modern world is that from the powers that be, to a petty employee, generally no one wants to understand anything but what is of dire necessity. Ignorance is bliss cannot be fad in the 21st century, it can just be suicidal.
Not only that, we are so vocal about the things we don’t know, that if somebody is trying to sort it out, he also loses interest and finally gives up. We want to give an impression of being abreast with the times, taking right decisions to the challenges thrown at us.
COVID-19 is a living example of how little we know of this world,how little we are ready to learn, and how little capability we have to find a solution of a challenging & a dynamic issue and make the recovery happen. One dsnt even know if it is an engineered virus or natural .
The reality that we have completely moved onto the digital world doesn’t seem to have hit us. It seems to be divinely ordained even when we keep hearing of it being ripped apart on a regular basis. Ignorance and soft peddling has brought us to this plight. Ransomware, most potent of the cyber crimes is raising its head like never before.
Ransomware is simple terms means hacking into your computer, servers & databases and encrypt it so that you not able to use your data.The data is held ransom and you have to pay a price for it. The encryption levels decide if something can be done about it, by the investigative agencies. More often than not, the strongest encryptions cannot be decrypted.*The ransom has to be paid in bitcoin, cryptocurrency with no geographical barriers.
WannaCry hit in June 2017 and made it known to the world what damage it can perpetrate.
It did impact India as well but the real damage was not much known in the public domain. The next follow was NotPetya which was able to bring down the functioning of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Navi Mumbai. This form of attacks has gained form strength to strength since then and today commands 80% of the hacks.
It is turning out to be a pandemic that is fatal. Wishing it off is not going to help matters. It is not only the business enterprise and government issue, it can stop functioning of critical infrastructure, inclusive of the hospitals. “The cruel march of ransomware has apparently reached a grim milestone.”* A patient died in Germany of late because the hospital was under ransomware attack.
Toughest of measures are required, but will it happen in soft states. Ransomware groups are launching attack against Universities, small & big businesses daily. We have created the same situation as in the case of COVID-19.
Next decade might just become the decade of ransomware. Politics has taken better of policing and ransomware groups operate from safe heavens, agencies always blaming extra territorial jurisdiction for failure. Intelligence Agencies need to focus on them, not keeping their operations limited to espionage and cyber warfare.The payment of ransom should the last resort, all stakeholders come together and prove that such groups can be taken to task. Security has to be made practical as too much software is being shipped with too many holes in systems and processes.
WILL LACK OF GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS COLLABORATION PUSH US INTO THE FIRST RANSOMWARE WAR.
Dr. Parvez Hayat IPS
A Google Scholar