The Future of Ransomware – Schneier on Security

Ransomware isn’t new, but it’s increasingly popular and profitable.
The lessons for users are obvious: Keep your system patches up to date and regularly backup your data. This isn’t just good advice to defend against ransomware, but good advice in general. 

But it’s becoming obsolete. Needed solutions aren’t easy and they’re not pretty. The market is not going to fix this unaided because security is a hard-to-evaluate feature against a possible future threat.

We need to assign liabilities to companies that write insecure software that harms people.

This all sounds politically impossible right now, but we simply cannot live in a future where everything can be held for ransom by criminals again and again.

1 Comment

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    John Leyden / The Register:
    Trend Micro: ransomware grew 752% in 2016 and generated $1B in revenue

    Feeling Locky, punk? Ransomware grew eight-fold last year
    Days of future past

    Ransomware saw a more than eight-fold (752 per cent) increase as a mode of attack in 2016, according to Trend Micro.

    The infosec firm estimates file-scrambling malware families such as Locky and Goldeneye raked in $1 billion in 2016.

    2016 was the year when ransomware ruled, and this danger has been maintained by recent WannaCrypt attacks and the latest threat Eternal Rocks, which has no kill switch and continues to grow.

    Trend Micro’s report, Ransomware: Past, Present and Future (pdf), provides a useful overview of the history and evolution of ransomware, from its beginnings in Russia in 2005/6 to the growth of the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) business model.


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