Dmitry Samosseiko – Ransomware: the great equalizer

Presented at the SERENE-RISC Workshop – 2016 Spring

The cyber-attacks targeting individuals and businesses worldwide continue to grow and wreak havoc. But one particular threat type clearly stands out from everything else we see today or had faced before. The file-encrypting ransomware has taken its victims by storm recently. It’s dominating the current threat landscape and new ransomware variants have started to emerge every few weeks. By taking your documents hostage, it leaves almost no option to the victims and therefore is extremely profitable to cybercriminals. Unlike other cybercrime types, the ransomware can make use of virtually any computing platform, affect any type of user or organization and be profitable in almost any country in the world. Its distribution and monetization mechanisms have perfected to a point where it became the most universal cyber-threat of all times. In this talk, we’ll look at the evolution of ransomware, review its recent development and techniques and discuss what could be done to stop or mitigate the problem.