Look out for more ransomware in 2021

2020 saw a crazy amount of ransomware attacks.  We’ve warned repeatedly of the increasing sophistication and organisation of these bad actors.  Names like RangarLocker and Dharma are cyber-businesses or do it yourself cyber-crime kitsets designed to cause havoc for you and profit for the perpetrators.

What can you expect in 2021?


  1. Snipers, not shotguns – Expect more targeted attacks, aimed at achieving big-money extortion.  That means it will be harder to detect because many of the obvious clues – poor grammar, unexpected messaging, will be replaced with compelling content aimed to con you.   In fact, that is an easy way of thinking about it.  Look out for the digital con-artists.
  2. Hijacking legitimate tools – as the hackers target you, they will come at you cloaked in familiar garb.  They will aim to hide in legitimate tools that they abuse for their nefarious purposes.  This could look like the remote support tools that businesses like us use to support clients, or tempting pop-ups on legitimate-looking webpages.  It could even be disguised as a webinar tool that you install in the expectation of attending a legitimate online presentation.
  3. Publicising your data breaches – they don’t just encrypt your data and withhold it.  Now they also threaten to publish it.  That means that, even if you can recover your content from a backup, they can still cause harm by releasing your data onto the web.

It has become apparent that the protections that seemed excessive a year ago now feel inadequate.  There’s a lovely saying that “it is not paranoia if they really are out to get you” – so we are not being paranoid!!

Our KARE for Security service will be augmented early in the new year by a more extensive package designed to add even more levels of protection.  We’re hoping to announce details early in 2021.  We are on track and testing is proving encouraging.  Even so, the reality is that nothing can guarantee that you won’t be hacked, but we can make it (much) harder for them and reduce your risk accordingly.