There are many variants of different malware (malicious software) like trojans, adware, keylogger, worms, and others, but ransomware is the most catastrophic among them. Ransomware is the type that encrypts the user file system and seeks compensation in return to make it usable again. Ransomware has been evolving at a massive pace and reached an all-time high, with 552 variants recorded in the year 2017. In comparison to the prior years, the number was significantly higher than the combination of all the previous years. The primary reason for this massive shift is the ease of production of new ransomware variants as well as ransomware being used as a service. The paper highlights a worrying state for the current safeguard measures of the anti-virus industry as 243 ransomware samples produced in 2017 are actively encrypting the users’ machine. Despite the advancement and regular monitoring of the anti-virus industry, the ransomware problem remains a significant issue. The concern is not only for the industry but also for the end-user as the new variants are being produced regularly, and old variants are not being eliminated. The following paper tries to raise awareness among the community about the increasing ransomware problem and the importance of taking proper preventive measures to safeguard against the rising attacks.

Authors: Arsh Arora, Ragib Hasan, Gary Warner

Published in: ICITST-WorldCIS-WCST-WCICSS-2019 Proceedings

  • Date of Conference: 9-11 December 2019
  • DOI: 10.20533/ICITST.WorldCIS.WCST.WCICSS.2019.0014
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-06-8
  • Conference Location: London, UK