FBI Warns of Growing Ransomware Threats Against Businesses

It appears that businesses have yet another concern when it comes to data center breaches — ransomware. Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Md., recently become one of the latest victims as a result of a malware attack on its parent company MedStar.

The ransomware threat, which demanded about $18,500 in bitcoins to unlock affected systems, impacted data at MedStar hospitals throughout Maryland, including Union Memorial. The attack reflected a pattern that’s indicative of ransomware — the hackers infect the target’s data with malicious software, preventing them from gaining access to the data on their computers. Then they demand payment in exchange for giving them the key to unlock their own computers.

FBI Warns of Growing Ransomware Threats Against Businesses“This is basically becoming a national cyber emergency,” said Ben Johnson, co-founder of Carbon Black, a cyber security firm.

The FBI has been urging companies to assist in solving the ransomware threats against businesses, specifically seeking help in investigating a new type of ransomware virus used by hackers for extortion. Just recently, the FBI issued a statement saying, “We need your help!,” according to Reuters.

The FBI’s recent alert referred to ransomware called MSIL/Samas.A; it is designed to encrypt data on entire networks, which is a significant departure from ransomware that attacks one computer at a time. “The FBI is distributing these indicators to enable network defense activities and reduce the risk of similar attacks in the future,” the advisory said.

Data breach trends

The attack against hospitals in Baltimore are only indicative of a growing problem with data center breachers. Here are just a few numbers on how far-reaching this problem has become. Here are some statistics about data center breaches throughout the United States:

  • Businesses represented the largest target for data breaches, representing 39 percent of all data breaches from January to March 2016.
  • The medical/health care sector was represented 36.4 percent of data breaches so far in that period.
  • Breaches at the banking/credit/financial industries was 3.6 percent of the total number of breaches.
  • Meanwhile, the government and military sector, represented 7.3 percent of all incidents.
  • Education accounted for 13.6 percent of breaches this year.

Data center security is an ongoing concern. Talk to LIfeline Data Centers to help you keep up with best measures to protect your data. We’ve been helping other companies for more than 10 years. Contact us today for a consultation.

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional
Rich Banta