Ransomware Shenanigans: A Week to (Never) Remember – 10.30.23

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Ransomware, Todd Laff, Todd Laff Chicago

Here’s the Who, What, and Yikes of Last Week’s Cyber Drama

In the Red Corner, Our Malicious Opponents! 2023 – shaping up to be the “Hey! Hold my beer and watch this!” of the cyberworld. The latest scandalous scoop? A jaw-dropping 3,385 organizations had their cyber lunch money stolen. That’s an 83% leap from last year. Imagine being the one to say, “Oops, we did it again.” No, this isn’t a karaoke bar, and Britney Spears isn’t singing. It’s just ransomware.

Guess who’s topping the hit list? The folks in manufacturing, tech, retail, and wholesale. Must be popular. And the party crashers? Lockbit, Clop, and BlackCat/ALPHV. Might as well call them the “Three Musketeers of Mischief.”

GRIT has been our watchful, ever-judging eye for over two years, and they’ve announced, “Q3, 2023: The most public victims we’ve seen. Ever.” (Mic drop). There’s a life lesson here: always patch your vulnerabilities before they’re old enough to go to kindergarten. Yet, many were left unattended, like that salad you promise you’ll eat someday. Meanwhile, these cyberpunks are leveling up their game.

Here’s a fun fact: only about 20% of these digital heists ever get reported. Makes you wonder about the other 80%. Maybe they’re too embarrassed?

Cisco’s No Bueno Week Poor Cisco. They found out the hard way that there’s a zero-day vulnerability in their software. It’s like leaving your front door open and finding out robbers have set up shop in your living room. And these clever rogues didn’t stop there; they even escalated their privileges. Show-offs.

Healthcare’s Hefty Bill For those keeping score, ransomware attacks on US healthcare in the last seven years: 539. Impacted facilities? Nearly 10,000. Are patient records compromised? 52 million (ish). And the 2023 downtime record? 18.7 days. That’s longer than most diets last!

Here’s some food for thought: while many envision healthcare as a gold mine, it’s more of a charity gala with a shoestring budget. When ransomware hits, it isn’t just machines that suffer. Patients need care, not error messages.

Can We All Just Get Along? Hoping to counter this digital storm, 50 nations under the Biden administration are gathering for the “Anti-Ransomware Avengers Summit.” Will they save the day? Time will tell. One significant hiccup? Pinning the blame. Russia keeps coming up in whispers, but where’s the smoking gun? Until real action is taken, our infrastructure is like cheese on a mousetrap. Tempting, but risky.

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Clop Lastly, for our soap opera fans, the infamous Clop gang went MIA in September. After showing off with their fancy cyber tricks since 2019, they suddenly ghosted the internet. Did they find a new hobby? Or just go on a long vacation? Stay tuned!

Well, folks, that wraps up this week’s cyber rollercoaster. Remember to update your passwords and maybe don’t click on that suspicious link. 😉 Stay safe and savvy!


About the Author:

Online Security Expert Todd Laff reviews online hacks and security issues and how to protect yourself and secure your network.
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