As you know, Ransomware is a hot topic I have written about before in previous posts. To summarize for those who may not have read them, a Ransomware is a form of a malware attack in which the Cyber attacker literally locks up your computer screen and any mission critical files that you may have.
But, in order to get these files back and to get your computer to function normally, you have to pay the Cyber attacker a ransom – not in the traditional currency, but in the virtual currency form such as Bitcoin.
Once the Cyber attacker has received these funds, the rational thinking is that he or she would then send over to you the decryption keys so that you can go ahead with your work. But, here is where the Catch 22 is – you think the Cyber attacker will give you the stuff that you need to get going, but why should they?
After all, they have your money, they are pretty much anonymous and difficult to track down, so the chances of them running away and leaving you both financially and technology ruined are quite high. But, there is one Cyber attack group out there that doss indeed send the decryption keys back to the victim once he or she has paid up.
Thus, that is why I always keep reiterating the needs to constantly back up your data, and to store them in a safe and secure location that only you know of – or other trusted parties that you are comfortable with. There is also another mantra with this – never, ever pay up the Cyber attacker. First of all, financially, you might not be able to do so, and secondly, if you do, you are just feeding the ego of the Cyber attacker to go even further with their escapades.
But now, there may not even be the need to even think of paying up a Cyber attacker. Blackberry has just announced that it may have come up with a new type of solution in which you can still retrieve affected files even after your computer or wireless device has been locked up.
However, details are not yet known about this, and Blackberry will not say too much further about it until at the Black Hat USA. The feature will be made available as part of the Blackberry Workspaces and Secure Plus editions.
So, how does this new solution work? It has been custom designed to contain the damage to computers, wireless devices, and all of their associated files that are caused by Ransomware attacks. It does this by freezing the files of the impacted devices, thus greatly mitigating the scale of an attack.
Then, by using the tool called “Blackberry Workspaces”, the Network Administrators can then pinpoint which workstations, folders and files were impacted by the Ransomware attack. From there, they can then roll back the impacted files back to their pre-attack versions.
An advantage of this solution is just that only the impacted files can be removed, thus reducing any further downtime to the business or the corporation. Also, Blackberry further asserts that its new Ransomware solution can manage backups going back to an infinite amount of time.
The end result of this is that the IT staff can now work at an individual file-level while wiping malware, to ensure that the data on unaffected systems remain safe. Another added bonus of this new software package from Blackberry is that it can work across a plethora of software platforms and devices, which include the following:
*All variants of the Windows OS;
*The Mac OSX;
*All forms of hardware that make use of the Android OS.
My thoughts on this? Well, this is really no different than what have been implying before by keeping regular backups of your files and datasets. After all, if you are a victim, all you would have to do is just get a new device, and reload all of your stuff from backup. This of course would be feasible perhaps for an individual or even a mom and pop kind of business, but definitely not for a Fortune 500 company.
So, this solution from Blackberry has the “leg up” in the sense that the whole process of identifying the files that have been impacted and restoring them from back up is completely automated. Thus, you can focus on other tasks at hand, and not even have to get new IT equipment in order to replace the ones that were hit by the Ransomware attack. The solution from Blackberry even limits that as well.
I’ve got to be honest, I actually feel that we may be a little ahead of the Cyber attacker on the Ransomware attack. Meaning, as long as we keep backups, and have the ability to restore them quickly, there should then be no issue of having to pay a Ransom. But who knows, given the sophistication level of Cyber attackers, anything is still possible.
I will keep my eye for sure on this solution and keep you updated as more details on it are revealed . . . .