Paying ransom will make you hackers' preferred future target: McAfee

IANS
Monday, October 9, 2017

As cyber attacks grow exponentially, meeting hackers' demands is not a guarantee that you won't be hit again, global cybersecurity firm McAfee has stressed, adding that giving in to hackers' demands silently and not alerting cyber security authorities will only make you a preferred future target.

Today, on an average, enterprises face 244 new cyber threats every minute globally.

"We saw new ransomware samples increase 80 per cent since the beginning of 2016. The attacks have been a wake-up call which has also forced executives to deliberate the question of whether they should pay ransom or not," Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee, told IANS in an interview.

"Meeting hackers' demands will not necessarily guarantee compliance from the hackers. In many cases, the likelihood of receiving decryption keys is almost nil. What is certain, however, is that victims who pay will be recognised as willing to pay, making them a preferred target in the future," Ramamoorthy emphasised.

Ten years ago, McAfee Labs used to see 25 threats a day. Today, said Ramamoorthy, it sees about 500,000 daily.

Globally, McAfee cybersecurity solutions protect more than a quarter of a billion endpoints across every category of device, serve nearly two-third of the world's 2,000 largest companies and defend more than 200 million consumers each day.

With its largest research and development facility in Bengaluru that employs over 1,000 engineers, the US-based McAfee's revenues are growing in double digits in India. Over the next couple of years, the country is expected to become one of McAfee's top markets.

"India is one of the fastest-growing markets for McAfee in the APAC region. McAfee in India has partnered with approximately 49 per cent of ET 500 firms and aim to cover 60 per cent -- with an overall target to increase the customer base by 20 per cent," Ramamoorthy told IANS.

Additionally, apart from having collaborated with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like LG and Samsung, McAfee is now also associated with leading consumer electronics company Micromax.

McAfee has solutions that provide a real-time way to unite data and actions across multiple applications from different vendors, as well as to internally developed applications to deal with threats that are becoming more complex, targeted and customised.

"In 2016, 'Locky' ransomware infected millions of users worldwide, primarily through malicious attachments in spam emails. To become more agile, the malware changed what extension is appended to encrypted files and utilised the '.locky', '.zepto', and '.odin' extensions across unique instances," Ramamoorthy said.

"Fast forward to 2017 and ransomware is back on the scene -- equipped with two variants that leverage either the '.Diablo6' or '.Lukitus' extension for encrypting files and are demanding a ransom of .49 Bitcoins (nearly $1,900 or Rs 1.2 lakh) for the decryption key to unlock the infected files," the executive added.

Ransomware is bringing Bitcoin into popular culture and raising awareness about cryptocurrencies. As the ability of the public to acquire digital currencies other than Bitcoin becomes easier, said the executive, cybercriminals will look to these alternatives to Bitcoin not only for funding malicious activities but to also maintain anonymity.

According to Ramamoorthy, security considerations need to be inherent by design and not a bolt on at a later stage.

"The need of the hour is to make cybersecurity an unavoidable pattern in the IT infrastructure of our country," he said, adding that McAfee has been working with the government as a strategic knowledge partner in various capacities.

Image.The Economic Times


Express your comment on this article

Submit your comments...
     
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.
Image

India - Global host of 2018 World Environment Day

India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day which is taking place on June 5, 2018. The t

Image

Students should proactively indulge in co-curricular activities - Raghavi Vishwanath an alumni of FAIPS Kuwait

When youngsters reach a pinnacle it is always a pleasure to learn more about their lives and how th

Image

A thought for Ramadan

Sunday, the 13th of May, 2018 Festival greetings, Happy Sunday greetings Mother’s Day greetings

Image

Kuwait Cricket - A Sense of accomplishment: Herschelle Gibbs

In the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifiers ‘A’ , the Kuwait's national crick

Image

Raindrops - Usual and Unusual Stories of love by Dr. Navniit Gandhi

Dear Readers, Dr Navniit Gandhi has penned a collection of 19 true, usual and a little unusu

Image

Love is in air when he sings, Shahbaz Aman

What could be the appropriate adjective to describe this man; singer; composer; or an unusual embod

Image

Don’t Want a Day… Want a Deal!

I am a Woman and like me, there are countless other women out there who do not want Days to commemo

Image

My heart, my soul and all my sincerity is for this country – Ajiaz Ahmad Sarfaraz

“By serving this great country for more than three decades, I feel that the word ‘great’ fully appl

Image

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work! – Nomaan Sidiq Budroo, Captain of Kuwait U-19 Cricket Team

Kuwait Cricket’s National U 19 team returned home after their best ever performance in the ICC U 19

Image

A Walk in the Garden…

Our garden in Salmiya is an exciting learning-place… Every walk in it, teaches something every time

Image

True sense of Indian luxury at Asha’s Restaurant

Who doesn’t like a luxurious dine out once in a while with families and friends? What if it is coup

Image

Zafran Indian Bistro with innovative Indian Cuisines

Indian Cuisines are packed with interesting ingredients and enticing aromas that make it super deli

Image

New Menu at Zafran Puts Contemporary Spin on the Traditional

Fans of Zafran can rejoice as the popular Indian bistro launches a new menu this week. The front

Image

A nostalgic and delicious train journey in Kuwait at Kerala Express Restaurant

A train journey during our annual vacation in India is definitely a nostalgic experience for many o

Image

22 Yards Cricket Academy Summer Camp For Cricket Coaching

22 Yards Cricket Academy, a professionally run Cricket coaching center having its 16th year of succ

Image

KCWA organized ‘Play on Indoor Sports’

Kuwait Canara Welfare Association (KCWA), for the first time organized an Indoor “Play on Sports” e

Image

Don Bosco Oratory (DBO) Beat Kuwait Independents Hockey (KIH) 1/0 in The First 2018 DBO Hockey Tourunament

Kuwait, Ahmadi – 12 May 2018, in what would one say “breathless showpiece” DBO and KIH. It was anot

Image

Kuwait Cricket set to host ICC World Twenty20 Asia Qualifier ‘A’

Whilst this is not the first International tournament to be hosted in Kuwait, this particular editi

Image

Himanta Biswa Sarma elected BAI President

Assam Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was on Tuesday unanimously elected the Badm