Ransomware a subset of malware in which the data on a victim’s computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is demanded before the ransomed data is decrypted and access returned to the victim. The motive for ransomware attacks is nearly always monetary, and unlike other types of attacks, the victim is usually notified that an exploit has occurred and is given instructions for how to recover from the attack. Payment is often demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin, so that the cybercriminal’s identity isn’t known.  While early instances of these attacks sometimes merely “locked” access to the web browser or to the Windows desktop — and did so in ways that often could be fairly easily reverse-engineered and reopened — hackers have since created versions of ransomware that use strong, public-key encryption to deny access to files on the computer.

In May 2017, an attack called WannaCry was able to infect and encrypt more than a quarter million systems globally. The malware uses asymmetric encryption so that the victim cannot reasonably be expected to recover the (private and undistributed) key needed to decrypt the ransomed files. To protect against ransomware attacks and other types of cyber extortion, experts urge users to back up computing devices on a regular basis and update software — including antivirus software  on a regular basis. While ransomware attacks may be nearly impossible to stop, there are important data protection measures individuals and organizations can take to ensure that damage is minimal and recovery is a quick as possible. Strategies include compartmentalizing authentication systems and domains, keeping up-to-date storage snapshots outside the main storage pool and enforcing hard limits on who can access data and when access is permitted.

According to Eyal Wachsman, CEO of Israeli cyber-security startup Cymulate, WannaCry has been spreading extremely fast. Over the past 24 hours, his team has identified “hundreds of variations of this ransomware,” he tells No Camels, and adds: “security updates are extremely important, and organizations that update their systems on a daily basis are less vulnerable.” If you think your computer might have been infected, you may check its condition using Cymulate’s online tool. Developed in Israel, Cymulate Mail provides another layer of protection for emails, from which the majority of infectious links – like WannaCry – originate. The company’s unique cyber-simulation platform assesses the security preparedness of its customers’ systems, and is continuously monitoring systems for vulnerabilities.

Israeli companies excel in providing cutting edge technologies and enhance R&D services. Companies in India can benefit from the advanced Israel technology. Relevant companies, interested to learn more on potential collaboration are invited to contact the Economic and Trade Department at the Israeli Consulate General in Bengaluru.

For further queries, contact:  Kavitha Saravanan,
Trade Officer, Consulate General of the State of Israel, Bangalore,                                   Ph:+91-80-49406515. kavithas@israeltrade.gov.il