Are You About to Be a Ransomware Victim?

Did you know that cyber scammers check you out before launching a ransomware attack? Absolutely. Scammers are in business, too. They want to increase the chances that you’ll be a ransomware victim who is worth their time. Plus, they want to see if they can access your systems without detection. 

So, how do you know if a scammer is checking out whether you are ripe for the picking? A Sophos News article by Peter Mackenzie, The Realities of Ransomware: Five Signs You’re About to be Attacked, outlines how scammers leave a detectable trail and ways to protect your systems from being held for ransom. Mr. Mackenzie’s article shares valuable tips, tools, and methods. I encourage you to read it

Here’s some evidence of an imminent ransomware attack from Mr. Mackenzie:

  1. Unusual Behavioral

A periodic scan of your network’s file history can detect repeating patterns or other indicators of malicious activity on your systems. It could be nothing to worry about, but anything that looks unusual is probably worth checking out. Even if detected malware has been removed, scammers could still be conducting harmful operations on your network.

  1. Scanner Snooping

Scammers often gain system access by using phishing or social engineering schemes with authorized users. They can capture credentials for users with administrative rights because it gives them more access. Once in, they can install a network scanner to find files with valuable information, such as bank accounts and tax IDs.

  1. Neutralized Security

Scammers that manage to compromise admin rights often try to disable your security software to swing open the door to your systems even wider. Several tools are available to force the removal of your security software. These tools have legitimate purposes, but they can be used by criminals to leave your systems vulnerable.

  1. Embedded Tools

In addition to installing a scanner, scammers can embed keystroke readers to capture logon credentials. Capturing keystrokes allows access to your systems, some of which could store financial and confidential identity information. Other tools can be used to extract data and lists of usernames and passwords for use or sale.
Cyber scammers could be checking you out to assess your value as a ransomware victim, and to determine the likelihood of being detected. Want to know how to determine if your systems have been infected with scanners or malware, making them vulnerable? Read Peter Mackenzie’s article in Sophos News, The Realities of Ransomware: Five Signs You’re About to be Attacked at to find out.