Ransomware actors are choosing their targets based on time-sensitive financial events, like mergers or acquisitions and ends of quarters, exactly when their victim’s stocks and shares are at their most sensitive points, warns the FBI. Ransomware gangs put pressure on firms by threatening to expose information that could have a negative impact on their stock price, allowing traders to profit from the stock price decline.
In their private industry notification (PIN), the FBI recommend the following steps:
- Back-up critical data offline. Ensure copies of critical data are in the cloud or on an external hard drive or storage device.
- Secure your back-ups and ensure data is not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the original data resides.
- Install and regularly update anti-virus or anti-malware software on all hosts.
- Only use secure networks and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks.
- Use two-factor authentication for user login credentials, use authenticator apps rather than email as actors may be in control of victim email accounts and do not click on unsolicited attachments or links in emails.
- Implement least privilege for file, directory, and network share permissions.
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