London’s official tourism slogan is “See the world. Visit London” and looks like cyber criminals are already paying their visit to the country’s Financial Hub London with Ransomware attacks.
London is the financial hub of the United Kingdom and nobody can deny this fact. So when it is suggested that employees working in London are at a greater risk of receiving ransomware then it is definitely something to be alarmed about.
Malwarebytes, a renowned cyber-security firm, has identified that people working in London city are continuously being targeted by a new kind of attack, which takes the files stored on the computer as a hostage and one has to pay ransom for getting the data back. It is called ransomware, which is no different than malware but it has the capability of locking up the data stored on a computer.
The attackers then communicate with the victim to receive cash in exchange of the data. The ransom is usually asked to be paid in bitcoins and the files are kept encrypted so that the victim is unable to access them without paying the ransom. Once the ransom has been paid, the attacker sends the user decryption key to unlock the data.
Malwarebytes stated that London city workers, in particular, are the main targets of such attacks involving ransomware than any other location in Europe. The reason could be that London is the most important financial center in Europe.
In a talk with Business Insider, Marcin Kleczynski, CEO at Malwarebytes, stated that the situation is so tense that banks are piling up on bitcoins to be prepared in case of a ransomware attack. He added that:
“I talked to a couple of banks and they say they have 50-100 bitcoin ready at all times in a wallet to deploy if a ransomware attack hits.”
The cyber-security firm spent over a year to monitor the threats hovering over different cities in Europe by analyzing which of the destinations received maximum attacks or threats. It was discovered that London received 10,500 ransomware attacks. The alarming fact is that this figure is 670% higher than that of the second largest receiver of ransomware attacks on their list, which is Manchester.
Watch what is ransomware and how can I protect myself?
Currently, there are different types of ransomware being used to target employees across the City of London. Some of the prominent ones include File Cryptor, File Locker, Cryptowall, and TeslaCrypt. So if you are in London watch out.