The Cipher, the Random and the Ransom: A Survey on Current and Future Ransomware

Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socio-technical Cybersecurity

The Cipher, the Random and the Ransom: A Survey on Current and Future Ransomware

Genç Ziya Alper, Lenzini Gabriele, Ryan Peter
Abstract:
Although conceptually not new, ransomware recently regained attraction in the cybersecurity community: notorious attacks in fact have caused serious damage, proving their disruptive effect. This is likely just the beginning of a new era. According to a recent intelligence report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the total cost due to ransomware attacks is predicted to exceed $5 billion in 2017. How can this disruptive threat can be contained? Current anti-ransomware solutions are effective only against existing threats, and the worst is yet to come. Cyber criminals will design and deploy more sophisticated strategies, overcoming current defenses and, as it commonly happens in security, defenders and attackers will embrace a competition that will never end. In this arm race, anticipating how current ransomware will evolve may help at least being prepared for some future damage. In this paper, we describe existing techniques to mitigate ransomware and we discuss their limitations. Discussing how current ransomware could become even more disruptive and elusive is crucial to conceive more solid defense and systems that can mitigate zero-day ransomware, yielding higher security levels for information systems, including critical infrastructures such as intelligent transportation networks and health institutions.
Authors:
Genç Ziya Alper, Lenzini Gabriele, Ryan Peter
Publication date:
2017
Published in:
Advances in Cybersecurity 2017
Reference:
Genç, Z. A., Lenzini, G., & Ryan, P. (2017). The Cipher, the Random and the Ransom: A Survey on Current and Future Ransomware. Advances in Cybersecurity 2017.

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