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Ransomware and Cryptomining Malware Pose Serious Threats to Cybersecurity

Posted on in Cyber Crime

Florida cyber law lawyerRansomware and cryptominers are two of the newest cyber-threats. Ransomware attacks rose significantly in 2016 and 2017, but have declined in 2018, while attacks by cryptomining malware have risen dramatically in 2018.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that can infect a computer when a user clicks on a link received in an email or a link that appears on an otherwise legitimate website. The malware proceeds to encrypt all of the files on that computer and any other computers and networks connected to it. Soon thereafter, the victim receives an email demanding payment (typically in Bitcoin or another e-currency) in exchange for the encryption key necessary to unlock their files.

A ransomware attack can cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars, as their daily operations are disrupted, they have to restore their entire system from backups, and they may even lose some data entirely.

What Is Cryptomining Malware?

Cryptocurrency-mining malware can infect a computer via spam emails, internet downloads that contain malicious applications (sometimes in the form of browser toolbars or add-ins), or even malvertising. Malvertising occurs when cyber-attackers buy ad space on popular websites and use those ads as a pathway to infect a user’s computer with malware.

Cryptomining malware, also known as cryptojacking or Bitcoin mining, aims to secretly use the processing power of an infected PC, smartphone, or another internet-connected device to process blockchain transactions and thereby earn payment in the form of Bitcoins or another cryptocurrency.  

What Should Businesses Do About These Cyber-Security Threats?

Most businesses already employ a variety of security measures to protect their computer systems, including anti-virus software, ad blockers, browser security settings (such as blocking JavaScript), and frequent software updates. These tactics are very effective but not 100% perfect. Cyber-criminals are constantly inventing new ways to profit from cyber-attacks.

If your business has suffered financial loss due to a cyber-attack, there may be legal remedies available to you. For example, under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, injured parties can recover monetary compensation (or other equitable relief) for damage done to a computer system that was accessed without authorization and for losses resulting from interruption of service.

Consult a Tech-Savvy Tampa Computer Fraud Lawyer

If your business has suffered losses due to a cyber-attack, a Florida digital torts attorney can help you recover financial damages or pursue other legal remedies available under federal law. At Nelson Cyber Law, PLLC, we focus our energy on federal court litigation involving hacking, digital assets, and intellectual property. Call the office of Attorney John Nelson at 1-800-440-5536 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.






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