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How are Businesses Blackmailed by Ransomware Gangs? 

Advancements in technology means ransomware groups can now easily target businesses and take control of sensitive information. A cybersecurity attack can leave businesses vulnerable to data exposure, reputational damage, and profit loss. 

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How are businesses blackmailed by ransomware groups

Using Hidden Identities

Ransomware gangs use dark web forums to organize and recruit workers. They use tools and cryptocurrencies to hide their identities so they cannot easily be tracked down. By using hidden identities, they are able to manipulate you.

Taking Control of Data

Ransomware is malware preventing your company from accessing its data. These hacker gangs can take control of your sensitive business information including your employee data, customer data, business secrets, and more.

Double Encryption

Sometimes two separate ransomware gangs will collaborate on a cyberattack. This is known as double encryption, and the tactic is used to increase their chance of profit at the expense of your sensitive business information.

Layered Encryption

Another tactic ransomware gangs use is layered encryption. The gang will use one ransomware strain to encrypt the data set, and then use a second strain to encrypt the entire data set again.

Side-by-Side Encryption

Instead of layering strains on top of a data set to encrypt the data, an attacker may use a side-by-side approach. This technique involves using one ransomware strain to encrypt only part of the data set, and another strain to encrypt the remainder of the data. 

Making Threats for Ransom

After a ransomware gang accesses and encrypts your sensitive business data, they will typically threaten you for a ransom. You will be asked to pay the ransom by a certain deadline in order to receive the decryption key.

Exposing Sensitive Data

If you choose not to pay the ransom, the attacker may threaten to delete the data or expose it. If the data is exposed, it could put your employees, business relationships, and your consumers at risk. 

Cyber Extortion

Law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts have warned against paying ransom. If you choose to pay, you are much more likely to suffer another attack. Plus, paying does not guarantee you will receive the encryption key. Hackers only release the data 65-70% of the time.

Risk of Liability

In October 2020, the U.S Treasury Department warned victims who respond to ransom demands may be liable to prosecution themselves. The criminal offense doesn't apply to the payment of ransom from hard-disk encryption, but it can apply to any extortion payment. The same law applies to third parties such as financial institutions, cyber insurance companies, and companies involved in digital forensics and incident response.

Ransomware gangs can pose a serious risk to your business. We can help protect your business from a ransomware attack. Browse our products designed to prevent data breaches from hacker gangs so you can keep your information safe.