Blackmail attacks by cyber criminals have skyrocketed this year.
Researchers at Check Point Software track the top ten threats seen across an international collection of sensors. Ransomware and cryptocurrency miners are regulars on the top ten list.
Now FlawedAmmyy RAT made the list on the strength of massive spam campaigns launched by botnets.
These remote access trojans unlock the door to everything on your computer and your network files.
How does the blackmail work? A surprising percentage of regular computer users fall for phishing emails that seem to come from legitimate businesses. One click on an email link and the attacker "owns" the victim's computer.
They can exploit another vulnerability: passwords for Windows Remote Desktop that are too short - around eight characters - or discovered through sophisticated dictionary attacks.
The criminals can steal from your entire collection of confidential documents and even watch you and listen to you like the watchers in Orwell's book, 1984.
They can collect plenty of material with which to make real blackmail demands. We're not talking about the ransomware tactic of locking up all your files. These blackmailers threaten to publicly humiliate and demand payment in exchange for not exposing your sensitive documents, photographs and videos. Or they tap right into your bank accounts and take your money directly.
Defend yourself against remote access trojans like FlawedAmmyy RAT with next generation antivirus technology and repeated education of the people in your office.