Ransomware that targets mobile phones and smart TVs has been singled out by a report by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Crime Agency (NCA).
Ransomware makes a device unusable until a ransom is paid to the attacker – will target connected personal devices like phones, watches and TVs, according to this report.
“Ransomware on internet connected watches, fitness trackers and TVs will present a challenge to manufacturers, and it is not yet known whether customer support will extend to assisting with unlocking devices and providing advice on whether to pay a ransom,” the report says.
In 2017 it is likely that ransomware will target connected devices containing personal data such as photos, emails, and even fitness progress information. This data may not be inherently valuable, and might not be sold on criminal forums but the device and data will be sufficiently valuable to the victim that they will be willing to pay for it.
TrendMicro has released an analysis of Android mobile ransomware which locks the victims screen rather than encrypts data and can lock smart TVs as well as mobile phones.
It is important to highlight that smart devices are still inherently more difficult to attack than computers. Incidents may initially be limited to users who download apps from third party app stores.
Scale Of Attacks ‘Never Seen Before’
Digital attacks are happening on “a scale and boldness not seen before”, the NCSC and NCA have warned.
Three key trends are identified in the report:
1. The technical skill required to launch attacks is falling;
2. More devices are coming online – from wireless routers to smart TVs – which potentially gives hackers more ways to attack;
3. Hackers, whether governments or criminals, are increasingly learning from each other.
Identifying who is behind an attack is also becoming harder, with criminal groups imitating nation states in attacks on banks.
Cyber Aware is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.