The pen may be mightier than the sword but the January 23, 2020 Ryuk attack on the Tampa Bay Times has shown that Ryuk is mightier than the pen.
“A Nuisance More than Anything”
Fortunately for the Tampa Bay Times their IT department had the procedures, policies and technologies in place to prevent the loss of sensitive customer information and to make recovery a relatively simple process. At this point in time the attack vector is not known.
“We’ve been able to recover pretty much all of our primary systems,” Tampa Bay Times chief digital officer Conan Gallaty said Friday. “This is something that’s been a nuisance more than anything.”
Other Newspapers Not So Lucky
In late December 2018 the LA Times reported on a malware attack that crippled itself as well as sister publications including the Chicago Tribune; Baltimore Sun; Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md.; Hartford Courant; New York Daily News; South Florida Sun Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel.
“They’re looking at the people that have the most to lose.” – Malwarebytes senior security researcher JP Taggart
Ryuk Continues to be Popular
Ryuk sprang to prominence in 2018, becoming such a popular attack mode that the FBI issued a public warning about it on their website.
Two years later and Ryuk continues to be a favorite tool of cyber-criminals for extracting profit at the expense of their victim’s pain. According to new Malwarebytes data, those attacks have continued. From January 1–23, 2020, Malwarebytes recorded a cumulative 724 Ryuk detections. The daily detections fluctuated, with the lowest detection count at 18 on January 6, and the highest detection count an impressisve 47 on January 14.
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