BEI Blog

BEI has been serving the Ohio area since 1991, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

IT Hard: A Reimagined Christmas Story

IT Hard: A Reimagined Christmas Story

During this time of year, many people like to sit back and reminisce upon favorite stories from the past. We figured we’d join in the fun by reimagining what many argue to be a holiday classic: Die Hard.

Let’s take a few moments to consider how the story might play out if the action were to take place today…

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Ransomware is Now Even Less Affordable to Consider Paying

Ransomware is Now Even Less Affordable to Consider Paying

We haven’t exactly been shy about sharing our recommendation that a ransomware demand should never be met with payment, but there is now an even more impactful reason not to. This deterrent comes courtesy of the United States Treasury Department, which has released a statement informing businesses of potential fines as retribution for doing so.

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Watch Out for All Different Kinds of Ransomware

Watch Out for All Different Kinds of Ransomware

Ransomware has become infamous in the past few years, largely due to its involvement in a growing number of cyberattacks during this time. Of course, not all ransomware works in the same way, and recognizing the difference could prove to be useful. Therefore, we’ve taken a few moments and assembled a brief description of the four most common ransomware varieties.

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Is it Wrong to Purchase Access to Your Own Data?

Is it Wrong to Purchase Access to Your Own Data?

Ransomware is a contender for the favorite method of attack for hackers. If you think about it, ransomware presents a no-loss situation. Either the victim pays the ransom and the hackers laugh all the way to the bank, or they move on to the next target and give them the same ultimatum.

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SamSam Is More than a Computer Virus

SamSam Is More than a Computer Virus

I think by now most people understand just how dangerous ransomware is. Even with some of the ridiculous names they have like Gandcrab, Jigsaw, and WannaCry. Hell, two strains even have names from the James Bond canon: LeChiffre and GoldenEye. But one funny-named strain of ransomware, SamSam, has been devastating information systems for sometime, and has caught the eye of several U.S. law enforcement agencies.

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What to Expect of Ransomware this Year

What to Expect of Ransomware this Year

Ransomware exploded in 2017, and after a year with as much success as these attacks saw, it is no wonder that 2018 is expected to see more. However, in order to remain successful, ransomware will have to change and improve. In today’s blog, we explore a few predictions as to how this threat will do so.


Why Ransomware Matters

Internet-connected devices are only getting to be more popular, in both the business world and in the personal lives of users. There is a growing reliance on these devices in order to function, to the point that if a device were to be unavailable, many would find themselves in a very tough spot. This is particularly true of business users, as they often rely on the use of such devices in order to operate.

As a result, the threat of denying them access to these devices brings with it some very real consequences - and again, it doesn’t help that so much of our personal and professional lives are so reliant on these devices and the data these devices enable us to access.

Cybercriminals are more than aware of how important this data is to us all. This is precisely why ransomware has been leveraged to relative success, and why its use as an attack vector will continue.

What to Anticipate

Moving forward, we believe that the following trends will become apparent.

Certain Industries Will be Targeted More than Others
There are particular industries that have been favored by ransomware attacks, as they are particularly reliant on their data. The most prominent example of such an industry, and one that will most likely continue to be a target, is the healthcare industry. This makes sense, as this industry has a particularly urgent need of their files, plus there is a lot of sensitive information at play, a fact that cybercriminals are not above exploiting.

Specific Targeting Will Continue
While 2017 saw its share of mammoth ransomware attacks, the technology is much more frequently being used to power more, smaller attacks, than it is fewer, large-scale epidemics. The number of ransomware variants has exploded, some recording a 74 percent increase in a little over a year’s time. These campaigns are then used against prospective victims in the thousands, rather than the millions. 2018 will likely see more of the same.

Ransomware-as-a-Service Will be an Attractive Option
Ransomware-as-a-Service has proven to be very popular as it provides a win-win for the author and the person leveraging it. The person gets a ready-to-go ransomware attack, while the developer is paid for their efforts in developing the ransomware in question. It is likely that this method will continue to be a popular option moving forward.

What You Can Do to Prepare

Fortunately, preparing your business for the continuation of ransomware in 2018 can be as simple as picking up the phone and calling BEI at (844) BIZ-EDGE. Our experts can help you by applying the right solutions and instilling best practices among your employees. Call today.

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Ransomware Increasingly Targets Android Devices

Ransomware Increasingly Targets Android Devices

In recent years, how-to guides and YouTube videos have brought renewed enthusiasm for the phrase ‘Do It Yourself’. From services that will ship all the ingredients needed for a home-cooked meal right to your front door to a kit that contains all of the building materials one needs to make a fully functioning ‘tiny house’, DIY kits have made it easier for someone who is less than an expert to successfully complete a project or learn a skill. The Dark Web has taken this infatuation with ‘DIY’ to a whole new level with a rising increase in the sale of Ransomware kits.


Malware kits are by no means a new concept, as the first kits emerged during the 1990s. Since the advent of the Dark Web, the trade of illicit goods and services on a global scale has never been easier. Then, with the introduction of cryptocurrency - like Bitcoin - to the market, payment for these goods are instant and anonymous.

While it’s true that the majority of these kits are targeted toward Windows, there has been an uptick of malware kits that shifts focus toward other popular operating systems. In fact, over the past year, cyber security experts have seen a sharp increase in the sale of ‘Ransomware kits’ that target Android users. Dubbed by the industry as ‘Ransomware-as-a-Service’, these kits allow nearly any individual - even those with the most rudimentary computer skills - to deploy a legitimate ransomware attack on the victim or victims of their choosing.

What’s worse is that this type of malware, the type that targets Android-based smartphones, can cost a company thousands of dollars, plus lost data, reputation damage, and a whole host of unforeseen losses - but can be purchased by an individual for an average of $200.
There are a few factors that make Android devices such a desirable target. First, as Android is the operating system for more than 86% of smartphones worldwide, a $200 dollar purchase from the Dark Web can really wreak some havoc - and earn the deployer a pretty penny. Second, statistics have shown that Android users are much more likely to be running outdated versions of the OS. This failure to run security patch updates for years on end make the exploits commonly taken advantage of by ransomware more likely to succeed among Android device users.

As a business owner, the use of mobile devices by your employees is almost an inevitability. Your best bet is to cover your bases by implementing a mobile device policy for any type of device that is used for work purposes. Additionally, a mobile device management solution will give your business control over the mobile devices that access your company’s network and data. For more information about how to keep you and your technology safe from external threats, like ransomware, contact BEI at (844) BIZ-EDGE today.

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North Korea Suspected as Responsible for WannaCry Attack

North Korea Suspected as Responsible for WannaCry Attack

According to the homeland security adviser to the White House, Tom Bossert, international blame for the global WannaCry attack is being directed toward North Korea. Responsibility for the attack that spanned from May 12th to the 15th of 2017 has been firmly placed on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which Bossert says is in agreement with the conclusions of Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.


Bossert wrote an opinion-editorial piece for The Wall Street Journal that said:

“We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with our findings, either. Other governments and private companies agree. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government.”

This isn’t exactly news, as it only took a month after the attack to associate WannaCry with a North Korean hacking group named Lazarus.

Thanks to the efforts of another hacking group, the National Security Agency lost EternalBlue, an exploit that took advantage of a critical flaw in Windows Server Message Block. WannaCry took advantage of the EternalBlue exploit to launch a worldwide malware campaign in April of 2017, infecting thousands and causing healthcare providers to shut their doors.

In response, Facebook and Microsoft formed a partnership to help fight off any future attacks like WannaCry. While they will hopefully never need to take action, it is a good thing they are preparing. Bossert has stated that North Korea has shifted its focus away from nuclear threats, turning its attention instead towards cyberwarfare to fund their other initiatives and terrorize the world.

So why should this matter to your business?

Simply put, these actions should light a fire and push you to ensure that you have a comprehensive security plan in place for your business. While most governments have staggering resources at their disposal, the proper preparations might help you to avoid at least some of the damage.

BEI is here to assist you as you make those preparations. Call (844) BIZ-EDGE to learn more.

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News & Updates

BEI is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.biz-edge.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

Contact Us

Learn more about what BEI can do for your business.

BEI
4700 Rockside Road Ste 625
Independence, Ohio 44131