Warning, an infamous hacker group that was thought to have retired earlier this year are back with a new wave of worldwide website attacks.
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Researchers at Secureworks, a website security company, claim that after analysing this new strain of computer virus the GandCrab crew are behind these cyber attacks. They were initially active between January 2018 – May 2019.
The gang is thought to be from Russia and previously sold customised ransomware to other criminal gangs too that are jumped on the cybercrime bandwagon.
They demanded blackmail payments to decrypt scrambled data on victims’ computers and it’s estimated to have affected more than 1.5 million computers including hospitals.
In May 2019, the group had surprised many in the cybersecurity industry when they announced that they were retiring after earning over $2bn (£1.6bn).
An insider claiming to be part of the gang claimed they had “cashed out” their earnings and quit the business while they were ahead.
But Secureworks has linked the group to a new strain of ransomware known in IT circles as REvil or Sondinokibi.
This new malware has caused major disruption to thousands of dental practices in the US as well as over 20 Texas municipalities.
Researchers say that the code is very similar to that of the earlier attacks but that it also contains some of the same coding errors too.
Don Smith, director of Secureworks Counter Threat Unit, said that he wasn’t surprised that the group resurfaced.
“GandCrab offered a good return for criminal gangs and it is very unlikely that such a talented group would just walk away from this cash cow.”
Whether it’s GandCrab again or maybe they sold off their “secret sauce” to another criminal cyber gang, it’s time to pull up the drawbridges to protect ourselves.
Website Security Precautions
It is also worthwhile pointing out that if you don’t have any website security in place and you have a security breach where customer’s personal data is stolen, you are liable to be fined under GDPR that came into force on the 25th May 2018. Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to 4% of your turnover or up to €20 million, whichever is greater! This is very harsh I know, but personal data is sacred these days.
I will be blogging next week about 5 easy to implement website security tips for your WordPress website that will be sufficient to cover you for GDPR.
But if you want to put your website security on steroids against the current viruses out there, get in touch as our prices start from under €100 + VAT. We will initially do a website security audit, only then can we advise you what preventative measures that we recommend.
Unfortunately, we only work with WordPress websites.
It could be the best €100 that you’ll ever spend. Better to be safe than sorry!
Gary is a website designer and has been building websites since 2010. He is a certified digital marketing strategist with the Digital Marketing Institute and he holds a 2019 BSc Degree in Digital Technology & Design (Distinction)