In the recent days before writing this, Gmail users were being targeted by a widespread phishing attack.
The attack is very clever. According to our information, it’s an email that looks like it has come from a friend or colleague, and contains a Google Docs link. When you click on the link it gives control of your Gmail and associates to the hackers.
A similar method was used to mass inflict Ransomware across millions of users during 2016. A study by IBM found that approximately 40% of all spam messages in 2016 contained ransomware.
If you aren’t already aware of Ransomware, you should be. Ransomware is a dangerous form of malware that, like the name suggests, holds your data to ransom by encrypting your entire systems, files, devices etc. It then locks you out of these systems and files, with any attempt to get in to these files proving useless as all data has been encrypted by the malware and can only be accessed with the appropriate encryption key. One of the most brutal aspects of the virus is that it can encrypt all data on a PC in a matter of seconds, including data on any shared spaces or drives or other computers on the same network.
Now you can see why this virus has been part of so many headlines this past year. This form of malware alone had raked in £157 million in just the first quarter of 2016, setting it on the path to hit £1 Billion before the year end. These attacks are only going to increase in number according to risk assessment experts Beazley. Their study concluded that, despite the staggering increase in attacks in 2016, infections are projected to continue rising to almost double this year.
In terms of Gmail, I’m sure Google is working very hard on a fix right now, we know they’ve “disabled” the malicious account to prevent further users being affected. And the odds are your computers are not affected. But this is a great time to perform a full security sweep of your devices and consider updating your security to our Sophos Synchronised Protection and protect against not just these phishing threats, but also Ransomware and zero day attacks.
With our dedicated anti ransomware solution, we can stop ransomware from encrypting your critical files. It not only automatically stops ransomware attacks as soon as they’re detected, but rolls back damaged/encrypted files to known and safe states as well. Additionally, the Root Cause Analysis feature provides forensic-level analysis that highlights and reports on the root causes of attacks and their infection paths. This means you will immediately know from which devices on your network the attack originated from and allow your IT department or support to quickly eliminate the risk posed by that particular device.
If you have any concerns about security at all, or if you’d like me to talk our solution through with you then give me a call on 0845 582 8080 or feel free to connect with me here.