Following the news that a new strain of ransomware is targeting gamers and PC users, Eoin Keary, CEO at edgescan, explains why the attack is targeting gamers and what users can do to protect themselves:
New ransomware family “Anatova” discovered in a private p2p network. It fools users into downloading it by using the icon of a game or app. Anatova's code appears to support modular extension in the future. https://t.co/792ECNqczM @McAfee_Labs #ransomware pic.twitter.com/5iY8pJGPgk
— David Bisson (@DMBisson) January 22, 2019
Eoin Keary, CEO at Edgescan:
“Attackers target gamers and PC users mainly for two reasons. Firstly, gamers are usually young and therefore have a generally lower level of cyber security awareness. Secondly, games now contain “loot boxes”, which are purchased with real-world funds. This results in some gamers investing a greater amount of their money into a game over time. The funds and time invested into a game make gamers a soft target, as they are more likely to pay a ransom in order to see their data and loot restored.
To prevent this type of attack, gamers should be weary of installing pirated copies and downloading “mods” (game modifications). Only software from recognised and reputable sources should be installed, and anti-virus and patching should always be kept up to date.
Those affected by Anatova will find it difficult to mitigate the damage of the malware unless there is a way to decrypt the hijacked data. In many cases this cannot be achieved without paying the ransom. Regularly backing up your devices is a good solution to limiting loss, especially as there is no guarantee that if a ransom is paid, the data will be restored.”