Malign software attacks small businesses, creates new cyber risk | #malware | #ransomware

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With names like AstraLocker, RedAlert, CheckMate and Maui, today’s ransomware programs sound more like video games than programs that will shut down a network, steal customer information and disrupt a business for weeks or longer. According to CFC, a specialist insurance provider, you can add another ransomware risk to the list. The latest entrant, known as “BazarCall,” targets small businesses in particular.

alm small biz adviser logo - 7-6-22CFC said in a press release that “the BazarCall attack method has been growing in use among well-known ransomware groups and is responsible for an increasing number of malware infections observed by CFC over the past three months.”

The attack involves the use of a phishing email that tricks a target into phoning a call center, where they are then instructed to download malicious software and basically infect their own computers. Once the software is downloaded, hackers can implement undetected ransomware attacks.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable because they rarely have dedicated technical staff monitoring their systems, and many are unaware of the risks or their long-term impacts. “Cyber criminals will always follow the path of least resistance and smaller businesses are the low-hanging fruit for hackers due to their lack of security resources and vulnerability,” explains Tom Bennett, CFC’s cyberthreat analysis team leader, in a statement to

“The BazarCall method is particularly challenging for smaller businesses as it’s unlikely that any workplace security training—if there is any at all—rarely includes warnings for telephone-oriented attacks.”

Read more: Cyber insurance premiums increased over 80% in Q1 2022

In addition, 60% of small businesses will go out of business following a cyberattack, putting them at a higher risk for failure following a breach. Cyber insurance can help offset some of these risks and provide small business owners with valuable resources to recover from an attack.

In the release, Bennett details that BazarCall was responsible for almost 10% of the malware incidents CFC identified in its customer portfolio over the last several months; however, the company has been unable to prevent cyber claims stemming from these infections.

Beazley Report Highlights Data Exfiltration Risks

A new report from Beazley, the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, finds that data exfiltration involving encrypted files also creates an increased risk for companies.

“Extortion incidents no longer just involve file encryption. We are seeing data exfiltration now prevalent in a significant majority of incidents reported to our cyber services team,” said Raf Sanchez, Beazley’s global head of cyber services, in a press release. “Multiple threat actors are involved, and they are encrypting systems, stealing and selling data they’ve accessed, and also threatening to expose the fact that an organization’s data was stolen unless payment is provided. This is an increasingly complex landscape and it’s essential that organizations understand the threats and resulting vulnerabilities of these new threat vectors.”

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