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Security Spotlight: Ransomware Virus Goes Airborne!

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Read the recent Security Spotlight by Cameron Matthews, Senior Security Consultant and vCISO at Nth Generation:

Ransomware Virus Goes Airborne!

As a senior software, systems, and cybersecurity architect, one of the most powerful notions that has emerged from my work is this: patterns are everywhere. Patterns in cyberspace can mimic those in “meatspace” and vice versa.

The Bubonic plague killed 50 million people in the 6th century, and in the 14th century, wiped out on-third of the population of Europe. One of the reasons those numbers were so gigantic is because the plague went airborne and the rate of spread went exponential. In cyberspace, ransomware has now made that jump from being transmitted via “direct contact” (most often in the form of phishing emails), to spreading via the “airwaves”. In our case, that’s Wi-Fi.

Just as the plague had vectors (fleas and then the wind), ransomware rides on the backs of other malware that actively infect all the machines that it can touch. In the case documented below, the Emotet Malware Trojan is one of the new means of infection propagation for different strains of ransomware.

How will ransomware be transmitted next? Cellular networks? Food for thought.

Emotet Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Spread Like a Worm

Lindsey O’Donnell. “Emotet Now Hacks Nearby Wi-Fi Networks to Spread Like a Worm.” Threat Post, Originally published February 10. 2020. Accessed 2/14/20.


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