Ransomware attacks of 2021; hackers trigger people’s emotions!

Ransomware attacks of 2021

The cases of ransomware attacks are escalating day by day in our society. The pandemic is accountable for the increase in cyber-attacks including the ransomware. The pandemic has left organizations and individuals more vulnerable to exploits. In these days, the hackers are finding plethora of opportunities to launch the attack.

Nowadays, the approach of ransomware attacks is totally different. They rely on one thing which modern technology cannot protect; emotions. They manipulate their targets using this strategy. Even if the strategy has changed, the mode of operation is the same. They first send infected links or attachments through emails, instant messages or other vectors. If you are able to detect the payloads accumulating in your network or device, you can successfully stop ransomware attacks. In majority of the cases, the threat actors use remote desktop protocol or drive by attacks to compromise a system.

The ransomware groups always create an atmosphere of urgency or fear. When the data is trapped with the ransomware group, the same emotion will make the targets to react right away. There are two kinds of people in this situation. One, they get scared and will have the fear of losing the data. Second, they remain cool and calm and find new ways to tackle the issue.

The main motive of the threat actors is to make the target develop the sense of fear. In most of the recently reported ransomware attacks, they have used this technique. They mentally break the victim’s potential strength.

So, in the future attacks, we must consider both the technical as well as psychological aspects of the attacks.

In the meantime, defenders have been blocking many ransomware attacks and protect different organizations. In 2020, their major motive was to:

  • Block the use of ingress methods.
  • Maintaining file backups and supply them if necessary.
  • Defending and neutralizing the malware.

The threat actors are taking advantage of these criteria’s and are offensive. No matter how much strong our security systems are, the threat actors will have a countermove to diffuse them and get inside the networks.

The modus of operandi adapted by the ransomware groups these days is extortion and collaboration. They often get over our defences by escalating pay off of the ransomware attacks.

Humans are not perfect. They make mistakes. There are imperfections in everyone. So the applications and software developed by humans will have imperfections or vulnerabilities. The hackers use this vulnerability as a key to success.

Psychologically speaking, apart from the emotion of losing the data, they will also develop a fear of embarrassment.

Malicious actors do not look into the moral side when they attack a person. They just don’t care about anything and does not have any limitations. Their only motive is to exploit the targets and grab money or information from them. So, never be amazed when they attempt to capitalize on tragic events.

Reports are coming out that the threat actors are now acting like cartels than independent groups.

Why are ransomware attacks tend to increase in 2021?

  • The number of people working from home has increased and this gives advantage for the cyber hackers to exploit them.
  • There is hype in Ransomware-as-a-service.
  • Since many people are shifting to cloud storages, the level of extortion has begun to increase.

Ransomware groups use extortion as a psychological tool to create warfare. When today’s attack can be compromised using money, there will come a time when only money will not be the target of the hackers. They may use the sensitive data for various other purposes.

Before launching the attack, the threat actors will look for things which are very personal and uses against your emotions.

Information is a powerful tool equal to money.

How to prevent ransomware attacks in 2021?

  • Provide proper training to your employees about the ransomware attacks and how to spot them. Develop a defence group within the organization.
  • Give importance to crisis communication along with incident response plan. Monitor every messages and activities occurring inside the organizations.
  • Have strong cyber security software to defend ransomware attacks.
  • Stay cool and never get panicked. Never allow the hackers to use your emotions. Think practically and come out of the attack.


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