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Locky ransomware – for SMEs ransom extortion is always about weak backup

John E Dunn | March 16, 2016
'Locky' is a new family of ransomware first noticed in February when the spam used to spread it started being picked up in filters used by security vendors to spot threats.

This issue is very specific to SMEs. Enterprises will have plenty of skills and people to get things moving quickly as well as multiple layers of backup. Consumers, likewise, will have simple offline backup drives beyond the reach of ransomware, as will be fine as long as they know how to properly clean their systems before reinstating data.

You'd assume that after four years of mainstream ransomware, the message about the detail in beating this threat would have got through but still journalists and security firms find themselves writing about new victims, almost all of them smaller organisations.

This might lead a critical mind to ask whether the weakness being attacked by ransomware such as Locky, CryptoWall and others is a really a lack of protection or the sclerotic complexity of today's backup systems. The vendors who notice ransomware are security firms with a vested interest in selling protection. That's part of the story but until the underlying issue of backups is better addressed, Locky will not be the last new ransomware to send SMEs into a panic.


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