Double Extortion Causing Devastation

June 2023

These days, it can seem difficult to keep up with all the latest security threats around the web. Unfortunately, it’s important to stay on top of the latest in cybersecurity threats so that you can take the mitigation steps needed to keep your information safe. You’ve probably heard about ransomware, but now two forms of these attacks are seen more commonly – double encryption and double extortion. With some preparation you won’t be caught off guard when it happens.

Double Extortion vs. Double Encryption

What is the difference between double extortion and double encryption attacks? Both are ransomware attacks that involve using multiple layers of attacks to maximize devastation and payouts.

With a double encryption attack, a victim’s data is compromised in two layers. You might be told right away that there are two encryption keys or alternatively, it might be a surprise after you already paid the first time. If you choose to pay a hacker, you should be aware that you don’t know whether you are getting all of your data back. This is why it is so important to have up-to-date backups of your information that is not accessible on the same server.

A double extortion attack is similar in the sense that multiple payments are required as part of the ransom. However, with a double extortion attack, the hacker will not only lock up your data, but they will also copy it to their own servers. The victim is required to first pay a ransom for the decryption key and then pay to delete the data from the attacker’s servers. The second part means that the data can be leaked or sold to another party.

The Devastation Behind Double Extortion

Because these double extortion attacks require victims to make multiple payments in order to recover their data, it’s easy to see how these attacks can be devastating to businesses and individuals alike. In fact, one report has found that ransomware damage from double extortion attacks has skyrocketed 935% in the past year.

And unfortunately, the costs associated with these attacks aren’t limited to the direct victims. Many businesses that have been affected by these attacks and paid out large ransoms have had to raise their own prices to make up for these losses. Likewise, as double extortion attacks become increasingly common, the ransoms being demanded have increased as well. One Security Intelligence article reports that “the average ransom asks increased between $50 million and $70 million in the first half of the year.”

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

More than ever, it’s important to protect yourself and your data against these kinds of ransomware double extortion attacks. If you don’t already have a ransomware prevention strategy in place, now is the time to implement some mitigation strategies. Setting up multi-factor authentication to protect and secure your accounts is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do.

If you don’t already have a ransomware dedicated server to store and/or backup your data, it may also be time to make the switch. ReliableSite offers dedicated hosting options to help you protect yourself against double extortion ransomware and many other threats, so reach out today to get started.