Ransomware Epidemic Worldwide

Johannesburg Suffers Yet Another Ransomware Attack

A second ransomware attack has left the town of Johannesburg, South Africa scrambling again.

The website and essential digital services have been suspended while the city deals with the breach. Hackers claimed, “We have dozens of backdoors inside your city. We have control of everything…” This includes personal population information, passwords, and even the ability to shut down essential functions.

Preventative care is surprisingly lax even with the increase in daily global ransomware attacks. Out-of-date blacklist technology is still used as the basis for most solutions while it’s becoming clear that application whitelisting is the most effective method for stopping ransomware. It makes sense. If your name isn’t on the list, you can’t get into the party.

We’ve mentioned application whitelisting plenty here. It’s the basis of PC Matic’s protection, and yet people aren’t switching over to the technology in droves, even when the National Institute of Standards and Technology is recommending it. It leaves you wondering why.

We frequently hear that the idea of a false positive is bothersome. A false positive, in case you weren’t sure, is a good application being blocked as bad. Sure, that can occasionally throw you for a few minutes of your day, but is it worse than being the first one to encounter a new piece of malware or a successful ransomware attack? Maybe someone should ask the officials in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to email that question in for quite awhile. If you hadn’t heard, their systems are down.

Other Ransomware Attacks

For a list of ransomware attacks that have already taken place in 2019, you may click here. We have also created a map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S.

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5 thoughts on “Ransomware Epidemic Worldwide

  1. Hello, is there something you can do to remove a ransomware, that pops up every now an then, acting as Microsoft reps to call a free toll number. You did remove this kind of virus before.

    Thanks,
    Oscar Ventura

    • What you are referring to would be a fake virus scam. There is no actual virus, instead, it is a pop up that appears in an effort to scam users into a calling “tech support” to fix a nonexistent issue. PC Matic’s ad blocker would prevent this. If you assistance with installation of this, please reach out to our support team at http://www.pcmatic.com/help. Otherwise, you can end the task via task manager by holding down ctrl+alt+delete.

  2. Ransomware is a money maker and municipalities, schools,hospitals and such are notorious for being behind in updates of software, operating systems and having hundreds of email boxes where one can be “suckered” into opening a link in an email with a Ransomware payload. Without whitelisting security software, they will simply be continuous victims.

  3. I have something going on with my computer with windows explorer. it is using high amounts of data on line and even though I close out the programs Windows Task manager it pops right back up and keeps going? Please help me get rid of this.

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