Be Prepared for These Advanced Cyber Threats in 2020

Be Prepared for These Advanced Cyber Threats in 2020

Every day our businesses are engulfed with new technology options and these advanced cyber threats are going to be more prominent in 2020.

advanced cyber threats

Cybersecurity is the foundation that can prevent and protect your organization from harm. Plus, with a strong security framework in place, you’ll have a guideline in place for implementing any new state-of-the-art technology.

Even though the new tech is thrilling, there are a lot of threats to cybersecurity. The concept of cyber security is not so new but over the last 20 years it has taken on considerable importance. With the rise of social media, digital media, cloud technology and more, the idea of cybersecurity has become ever more difficult to uphold.

The Importance of a Cybersecurity Framework

Modern technology has more than ever been connecting people and businesses. This revolutionizing development caused the IT barrier to be lowered and the filed to be exposed to various opportunities as well as threats. This ever-evolving technology is both a blessing and a potential curse.

If you are involved with the implementation of new technology, then you should be prepared for the challenges of cybersecurity. It’s significant that you consider your strategic security foundation to cope with various types of cyber threats like Internet of things attacks, insider threats, supply chain concerns, endpoint attacks, social engineering, AI-driven attacks, cyberbullying, phishing, ransomware, malware, 5G concerns, new cyber regulations, etc.

Staying ahead of cyber thieves and bullies should be vitally imporant for any company. No matter what current solutions you have, it is important to continue developing new methods to take care of cyber protection.

Which are the biggest threats for 2020?

What data breaches or attacks or malware or other vulnerabilities will be the most damaging? Looking ahead of the evolving threats that your organization should watch out for in 2020 will help shape your constructive cyber security approach. We have listed some of the most disruptive cyber security risks of the year 2020 in the section below.

Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks

advanced cyber threats

IoT has brought the entire world closer than ever before. Profoundly intellectual engineering has transformed the way business operates and given us an emerging entertainment and education world. It facilitated communication and made it vulnerable. The design of Internet of Things is so complex that it is very tough to handle these apps in particular, and it will be difficult to apply security patches.

The net of IoT systems is made up of many unsecured devices and the hackers can reach corporate network very quickly through these networks and cause malware attacks. There are various reports based on the IoT attacks which state that around 100 million attacks took place in 2019 and the next year can expect more attacks. Hackers exploits IoT vulnerabilities and target the devices.

There are millions of devices exist with vulnerabilities and if proper care is not taken then a large-scale attack can damage the whole system.

Insider Threats

advanced cyber threats

There are a lot of cyber security issues that are caused by insider threats and one of them is employee errors. Cyber security tools, technologies, and services like PRetect are very effective to prevent or minimize threats due to insider attacks.

There are many instances where it is claimed that multiple workers from the top international companies sell customer data for illegal use to specific third parties. There are expected to be more threats in 2020 that will result from human errors. Issues of insider threats have increased to a very critical level and now there are some guidelines that each organization has mentioned to protect their data from insider threats.

Supply Chain Concerns

advanced cyber threats

Hackers in the cyber world always persuade them to reach their goals with the most convenient methods which sometimes leads them to third party vendors. Attacks also predominate through the supply chain. There have been many well-known threats attributed to third-party vendors, the most prominent being the devastating Stuxnet intrusion discovered in 2010 and the 2013 aim data breach.

There are many possibilities in third party that can include accidental insiders, an external developer, malicious employees, a service contractor, a supplier or any other person who has access to the critical system. And many of these third parties have poor cyber security programs and processes which make them a rich target for cyber criminals and an avenue for even bigger prizes.

There are upcoming supply chain regulations like CMMC, and it is best to enforce and security regulations with your suppliers before it is too late.

Endpoint Attacks

advanced cyber threats

Over the past years, the security space has become a little less crowded thanks to the endpoint protection, monitoring, and response capability. Endpoints attacks are usually launched via email channel.

Even mediocre technologies have blocked 26 billion email threats in the first half of 2019, which accounted for about 91 percent of the total cyber threats. Such risks include flexible domain threats like phishing that indulges fancy clickable links to target consumer so the person’s identity can be easily hacked. These might be built to attempt a download of malware, or send you to the spoofed websites that look legit and express your personal details.

Such risks are of a highly versatile type, and may include phishing social media messages or malware trapping via legitimate websites.

Social Engineering

advanced cyber threats

Hackers are also developing in technology with technology development. But not only technology, as the user psychology is also building new means to things. They are targeting and exploiting user weaknesses.

This process is called social engineering because hackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in people, which is a very critical threat to the enterprise because every company holds this. Hackers are persuading people to use different deals that could drive them to access social media and cell phones.

Through this phenomenon hackers can obtain viable information about various resources. Social engineering has become a simple way to hack meaningful information from innocent users who don’t know about new technology.

AI-Driven Attacks

advanced cyber threats

We’ve seen it in science fiction films but it looks like reality that computers are learning to attack on their own. Different cyber security platforms are embracing the modern AI to overcome these attacks but hackers are also using the same technology to launch new attacks at their end.

Experts suggest that the hackers adopt powerful AI tools for automated attacks and expand their domain in various cyber security reports. Adversarial AI attacks are particularly worrying, because they are so powerful. Theft of data in the past attacks caused a great deal of fear due to the money, time and effort required to carry it out.

Now AI has made it easier for hackers to execute several types of attacks within the same time frame and using very less energy. Even with the few lines of codes, hackers can now solve the problem of years into seconds and gain access throughout the network.


advanced cyber threats

Phishing is among the oldest scams and is considered green as ever. Lot of strategies were designed to control it and many people made various attempts but all culminated in nothing more than a temporary solution. Therefore, phishing is also known to be pain in the year 2020 and it will continue to endanger Internet security. Such tech-savvy offenders are redesigning data from their last successful breach.

Phishing attack actors use AI to study business language, and capture speech samples for use in advanced phone phishing scams. This is an attack based on email, and it forges itself as an essential email originating from any reputable source. Clicking on an email tricks the recipient to share personal information. For people working in the tech industry, it is necessary to become conscious of phishing techniques so that they can be stopped by 2020.

Phishing attacks hit mobile devices more widely and these are becoming a key platform for attackers. Connection to mobile applications on various social media platforms leaves them vulnerable and this causes problems for the user. This can create any destructive damage for the victim of phishing attack.


advanced cyber threats

Ransomware has already been common and will continuously create trouble in the year 2020. As a matter of fact, in the year 2020 it is considered one of the top five cyber threats to the business. Ransomware’s main expected goal in the year 2020 will be vulnerable cloud data.

Different users have stored their data on the cloud and made data backups but numerous hackers also discovered that cloud data storage is also susceptible. There are different attacks that can damage the cloud data carried out by hackers.

This is so powerful attack that in 2019 two cities Baltimore and New Orleans were under the threat of destruction by this attack. This attack is equally harmful for both organization and individual as well. It impacts databases and all tools involved with it can suspend all operations through it. That results in the lock-down of the systems.

The users are bound to pay the requested amount to the hackers so that the data can be released to him safely. Therefore hacker say substantial amount to unlock data and equipment. School districts and healthcare providers faced challenges to ransomware, too. Both have paid a large amount of money to keep their services running.

Hackers are trying various types of attacks and are using new technology to explore new aspects in those attacks. Cyber criminals can hack out unpatched Windows machines and use them in cryptocurrency mining.


advanced cyber threats

A variety of malware has been discovered in the years which have passed. These attacks on malware is designed to attack different devices like smartphones. In the first half of 2019, there was a 50 per cent increase in malware attacks in mobile banking.

The mobile devices that virtually every one of us carries contain sensitive data and information of us. Through attacking this mini machine hackers can get what they want. With the passage of time our reliance on these tools has been greatly increased and we are using it for our sensitive information, for different purposes of online transaction and recording. In order to save this sensitive information, we focus on two authentication criteria in which one is linked to the SMS and the other is verification through mobile application.

Thus hackers have reached that poor communication between the network and the service provider through an attack in “SIMjacking”. Such attacks were carried out through a social engineering approach which prompted several high profile robberies. Such robberies included not only standard dollars, but also cryptocurrencies.

Malicious software-containing malware harms not only mobile phones but also other devices, and these can also be launched through different applications. To fix that, large-scale software market owners, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, check devices for warnings that it may contain technology that is suspected to be maliciously exploited. It is restricted after scrutiny of the application which is supposed to be malicious.

The main goal of the attacker is to attain the user’s information and for this they are attacking the most convenient source of attack that is currently mobile phone device. Malware is common to desktop and larger systems as well.


advanced cyber threats

It’s a common cybercrime and it’s bullying, but it’s done online. Bullying is immoral wherever it happens and people around the world are against this abuse. There are different laws working to get a hold on cyberbullies but they are still targeting people to a greater level.

This is worst in cybercrimes because many of the other causes money or business damage but in some situations cyberbullying has caused life loss. This crime is also followed by cyber-stalking in which people virtually stalk others. Keeps an eye on other people’s activities and exploit them to get different benefits from them.

5G Concerns

advanced cyber threats

5G is close to a major disruptive launch, and so are the risks to cybersecurity in 2020. As it gives package of incentives and thus also draws the risks. 5 G infrastructure adds a bright light to the tech world on the sea but is tempting to the dark side of cyber world as well.

The comprehensive 5G supply chain will add flaws such as malware or hardware, and bad designs. This platform is expected to produce phenomenal revenue growth from 2019 to 2025 (in reference to

5G businesses commons in contact with security issues of diverse network architectures, and very different product technologies and strategies. The new architecture ensures that networks must run in a more complex environment with a larger threat surface requiring greater security vigilance on the part of the service providers.

With 5G technology, there are many issues that can be expected and many of those biggest issues are the deployment and supply chain. As the 5G is going to be new tech with vast supply chain, it is therefore exposed to malicious attack.

This can also draw the spotlight from various dark sides because of malfunctions in design. Consequently, it launches an increase in the expectation ratio of attacks and increases the negative impact on data confidentiality. In the implementation phase of 5G, information and communication technology (ICT) components will be increased due to indulgence.

5G tech uses more components than previous generation wireless technology and will therefore be prone to more attacks than previous ones. With more ways for attackers to access sensitive data, and increasing challenges such as monitoring device risks without a Wi-Fi router, people will need to be proactive as they develop new security solutions. 5G vulnerabilities could lead to IoT traffic snooping, easier ways to compromise IoT devices, or even reprogram the IoT device remotely in some cases.

New Cyber Regulations

advanced cyber threats

In the year 2020, data breach is most likely to happen due to unauthorized access to the data. New cyber regulations need to be brought in so that cyber-attacks can easily be thwarted.  In the cyber security war, there is a drawback that the hackers are progressing faster than the people who are cyber security experts.

Advanced Cyber Threats in 2020

The companies and organizations fail to hire people who are adequately trained to enforce the cyber security regulations. This is a trend that is predicted to be seen again in 2020, as some unfilled vacancies will still exist. There’s a troubling problem in the field of cyber security due to this shortage of skilled professionals.

Cyber security threats are through to a greater extent, causing difficulty and calling for the law to be enforced at international level to avoid such horrible attacks. Cyber security has become a crucial issue and the battle against the perpetrator cannot be won with antivirus software and simple password protection alone. In this area however, there are some cyber regulations which have been followed and can be helpful for the prevention of certain damages.

One of the important cyber regulations is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance which protects the data from intrusion and maintains it. As the data is encrypted so that it can be stopped from hacking alongside other internal risks of attack. The other regulation that has been widely adopted is the use of multifactor authentication has played a very vital role in the field of cybersecurity and many attacks have been avoided due to this attack.

AI is an important tool in implementing cyber regulations because it works on both sides as it helps to escape security risks, and also leads the way to deter and respond to emerging problems.

Tech has become a must for every business and has raised the bar of importance to a maximum level for every sector. Cyber threats are the number one world economic security concerns. Forward-thinking companies will need to build careful, strategic plans for their network health. The challenges that lie ahead of us are very serious and need a response to these threats.

Platforms are required which can anticipate the attacks before they occur. So you can take that countermeasure. There are few suggestions that are important to coping with those threats to security.

  • It is important not to click on the suspicious emails.
  • Keep the antivirus and operating system updated as well.
  • Using complicated combinations of passwords with excluding birthdays and other related information.
  • Ensure the receiver’s validity before any personal details are revealed.
  • It is important that you check the description of the link before clicking on any.

Cyber-attacks target the bigger and the smaller equally, without discrimination. It is therefore critical that all reports pertaining to cyber threats and revolutionary advances in the field of cyber security be reported in advance.


Cautionary measures need to be taken to secure your data by keeping the cyber-attack trends in mind. With the advanced cyber security threats it is important to continue investigating the best way to handle them.




Consider Cyber Protection from Cybriant

What Is A Penetration Test and Why Do You Need One?

What Is A Penetration Test and Why Do You Need One?

Organizations that are focused on their security may consider several security assessments. But what is a penetration test and why do you need one?

What is a Penetration Test?

To put it simply, a penetration test is an authorized simulated attack on a computer system or application that looks for security weaknesses. To protect your organization, a penetration test should be run once a year or after a major change to your environment. You’ll receive a detailed report explaining what data was compromised and examples of compromised data. Experienced cybersecurity firms will utilize an experienced ethical hacker since a penetration test is a manual test done by an experience security expert using multiple tools and techniques. pen test vs. vuln scan

Penetration Test vs. Vulnerability Scan

No matter your size, all organizations should regularly check their network and systems for vulnerabilities that can allow outsiders to have access to your critical data.

There are two methodologies to do this – Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing. A common error in the cybersecurity world is to confuse these services or to use them interchangeably. Most cybersecurity experts will agree that both services are important and they should be used together to have a comprehensive security program. Read more.

Why Perform a Periodic Security Assessment?

Organizations are increasingly bound by governmental regulations which dictate what security measures must be in place and how they are to be audited. PCI, FISMA, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, NERC and GSA among others all dictate how to secure different types of data and the systems that manage them. These regulations also require regular security posture assessments.

While regulations are often the driving factor, they aren’t the only reason why an organization should perform (or better yet, have a third party perform) periodic assessments of their infrastructure. A Security Assessment is the equivalent of an organization’s State of the Union. It is a report that looks at every aspect of security and details the severity and potential impact of risks to the company. Furthermore, it produces the fundamental information required to create a roadmap to a successfully secure business. To navigate to any destination you must first know where you are.

What Should Be Assessed?

To begin, most organizations only focus on IT data systems or penetration tests during Security Assessments, and this is where things go wrong very quickly. Yes, it is important that the firewall blocks bad guys and workstations are kept secure, but what about phone systems or printers? Will your users recognize and report a phishing email attempt? What is the process for when an employee exits your organization? Did anyone remember to disable their key card to the building? A thorough Security Assessment will go beyond the typical IT systems assessment. Here is a list of security domains that should be considered during a Security Assessment:

  • Access control
  • Information Governance and Risk Management
  • Infrastructure Architecture and Design
  • Cryptography
  • Operations Security
  • Network and Telecommunications Security
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans
  • Governmental Regulations
  • Incident Management Policies and Procedures
  • Physical Security
  • IT Security Training Programs
  • Network Boundaries

What about after the Security Assessment?

It is shocking to think that most companies will pay for a third party to audit their systems, processes, facilities, and personnel; then, do nothing to resolve the discovered issues. A high percentage of companies will fail to close gaps discovered during security audits. A vulnerability of any size is important no matter where it exists. All an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) really needs is a toe hold. Once one is presented no matter how small, attackers will use it to gain access to your company’s data.

Once you have received your assessment results, it is imperative to either fix discovered issues or create compensating controls to avoid these issues from being leveraged. As Rob Joyce points out in his video, most companies and organizations fail to act even after issues have been discovered, documented, and reported. Joyce also says not to assume any crack in your defenses are too small or insignificant to be exploited. These toe-holds are exactly what Advanced Persistent Threats are looking for in your environment.

Companies put a lot of effort in to securing revenue streams, banking information, and payroll information by default. These areas, they feel, are important to protect. Most companies have a provision in the employee handbooks that instruct employees not to discuss salary information with fellow employees. We don’t often find this level of care and communication when it comes to IT security. Accountants frequently audit the bank and company for fraudulent activities.

It’s time that companies added IT security to this list of very important, very well understood activities. Yearly assessments should be the norm and the findings should be well communicated within the company. IT security cannot be the sole responsibility of a few guys in the back of the building. Every employee has to be involved because every employee is a target.

The journey to a secure organization begins with the first step. Your first step should be a Security Assessment to know where to place your foot, and how to find the path ahead. Contact Cybriant to begin your journey. Read more

7 Reasons You Need a Penetration Test ASAP

7 Reasons to Carry Out a Penetration Test

1. Discover the Vulnerabilities Hidden in Your System Early

It is imperative to identify and uncover the vulnerabilities in your system before the people who pose a threat to you actually do. In this regard, you have to dig deep into the threat and establish exactly what the kind of information could be brought out in the event that it is discovered. By revealing whether or not an organization is susceptible to cyber attacks and making recommendations on ways to secure your system, you protect yourself. It is important to understand the extent to which your organization is vulnerable to hackers.

2. Avoid Remediation Expenses and Reduces Overall Network Downtime

It is very costly to recover from a system attack following a security breach. These costs could be regulatory penalties, loss of business operability and even protecting your employees. By identifying the areas of weakness in your system, you not only shield your organization from massive financial losses but also spare it from reputational prejudices. Through your qualified security analysts, you can get clues on ways through which you can take steps towards, and even make investments that will establish a more secure atmosphere for your organization.

3. Establish Thorough and Reliable Security Measures

From what you discover after the penetration test, you will be able to develop necessary measures to ensure the security of your information technology systems. The results can serve as pointers to security loopholes, how real they and the degree to which they can affect the performance and functioning of your systems. The test will also make the proper recommendations for their timely precautionary measures while at the same time enable you to set up a security system that you can rely upon with the aim of making the safety of your IT systems a priority.

4. Enable Compliance with Security Regulations

Practicing the habit of conducting occasional penetration tests can help you stay in accordance with the security regulations as laid out by the security standards in authority. Some of these standards include the HIPAA, PCI and the ISO 27001. This will be instrumental in helping you stay safe from the heavy fines which are normally common when compliance guidelines are not adhered to. To remain compliant to such standards, system managers ought to carry out frequent penetration tests alongside security audits as guided by the qualified security analysts. The outcome or the results of the penetration tests prompt can even e presented to the assessors of the organization as a symbol of due diligence.

5. Protect Company Image and Customer Trust

When your systems fall victim of cyber attacks, the company image becomes tarnished in that the way the public used to view the company takes a negative hit. Consequently, customers begin to develop a concern about the security of their information in the hands of the company. The outcome of this may be a consideration on their part to seek the services of an alternative company for the same services you were offering them. Penetration testing will, therefore, help you avoid putting your company in such a position and by so doing, protect the company image as well as maintain the loyalty and the trust of your employees.

6. Prioritize and Tackle Risks Based on their Exploitability and Impact

Penetration testing will identify the areas that are vulnerable for cyber attacks and using such results, you may be able to prioritize the potential risks and come up with a counter plan on how you are going to shield the company from the named risks. Your list of priorities could base itself on the degree to which individual risks are susceptible to exploitation by the prospective hackers. You may also choose to attack the risk with priority put upon the risk that would make for a graver impact on the company. By so doing, you will be cushioning the company against heftier hits in the event of a cyber attack crisis and by so doing deal with the risks that can easily be contained or whose impact is less harmful.

7. Keep Executive Management Informed about Your Organization’s Risk Level

Any properly working executive management of a company would always want to be kept in the loop whenever the company is at risk. More importantly, they also want to know of the level of protection the company operates in at any given time from potential cyber attackers. More information

Security Testing Tools: Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is a common service to check the viability of your cyber security stems.

When a penetration test is launched, the aim is to carry out a risk assessment on your organization’s security system and controls. This is done by evaluating and picking out the parts of your security firewall that may be targeted by attackers. These parts are then subjected to an attack through a penetration test. When vulnerabilities in the security system are detected, the individual or company may then find out ways to eliminate the potential risk that may arise from these loopholes. This may be done by either getting rid of the defective systems or strengthening them to ensure that they are not exploited.

Read more about the 7 Reasons you need a Penetration Test in 2019.

The evolution of the information technology is so fast, that everything is already dependent to computerization of everything. From business industries, to governments in every country, they are all dependent on computers and the internet. With this development, cyber security experts are trying their best, to be able to find ways to protect computer systems of big corporations, government agencies and private individuals. The goal here is to keep their important information’s secured from being hacked.

What are these Security Penetration Testing tools?

Security Penetration Testing Tools are instruments that are used by cyber security experts, to check your computer system’s vulnerability to such cyber attacks. It’s is because of the fast evolution of the computer technology, that system updates are inevitable. Computer system should be tested, to able to determine, which part of their system is vulnerable. These is the reason employing these security testing tools.

Here is a list of some of popular Security Penetration Tools in addition to the tools listed above:

Wifiphisher. This tool is an access point tool. Using wifiphisher in assessment will lead to actual infection of the system.
Burp suite. This tool is best used with a web browser. This tool is essential to check applications of their functionality and security risks.
OWASP ZAP. Another application tool, this one is better used for starters in application security.
CME. This exploitation tool helps to automate assessing the security of large active directory network.
PowerSploit. It’s a set of modules to be used for assessments.
Immunity Inc.-Debugger. This tool is use by security experts to write exploits, analyze malware and a lot more features.
THC-Hydra. A network log-in cracker, the tool holds several details to allow users to get started.

Click here for more Security Testing Tools

Security Penetration Tests

Our security penetration test is a real-world exercise at infiltrating your network systems. We will identify the key weaknesses in specific systems or applications and provide feedback on the most at risk routes into the target.

Penetration Tests are used to identify key weaknesses in specific systems or applications and provide feedback on the most at risk routes into the target. These tests are designed to achieve a specific, attacker-simulated goal.

Cybriant’s security professionals can assist in selecting the right approach to achieve your objective. We won’t just tell you that you have a problem; we will show you how to fix it, or we can perform the services on your behalf. Please contact us for more details on the process and schedule a complimentary consultation.

When companies focus on protecting their assets from hackers, they may overlook threat detection. As a result, threats to the network often go undetected for weeks, leaving the organization vulnerable to data theft. Learn how a security risk assessment can show your organization where it is vulnerable to a cyber attack so you can plug holes in your defenses before your organization suffers a breach.

#1 Identify Loopholes in Your Threat Protection

A security risk assessment shows where your system is strong and where it is weak. Using the data, you can hone in on loopholes that represent easy access points for hackers and come up with an action plan to fix things.
Since cyber risk assessments show the broader spectrum of your company’s cybersecurity system, they are useful when key stakeholders need to be talked into making additional investments in cybersecurity. The assessment provides demonstrated proof of vulnerabilities. When confronted with such compelling evidence, many naysayers often change their tune and finally fund the infrastructure that is needed to prevent a data breach.

#2 Fill Gaps in Cybersecurity Coverage

The typical company has several network protection systems in place. These often act as a patchwork, because the systems may be cobbled together from a variety of vendors. The cyber risk assessment will show you where gaps in coverage exist–which hackers can exploit to gain access to your system. Once you’re aware of these gaps, you can identify vendors that offer solutions to fill coverage gaps and fully protect your valuable data.

#3 Comprehensive Cybersecurity Protection

It can be easy to wonder if you are doing enough when it comes to cybersecurity. With a cyber risk assessment, you can stop asking this question because you will have a personalized road map to comprehensive protection. All your organization needs to do is follow the specific actions suggested by your organization’s threat assessment to know that you are protected to best-in-class capabilities.


Cybersecurity is something of a cat-and-mouse game. As companies arm themselves with better protection, hackers either search for easier targets or get more creative in their attacks. By prioritizing your data safety through periodic threat assessments, you can fine-tune your defenses and reduce the likelihood of suffering a devastating data breach.
Cyber Risk Assessment

Our Cyber Risk Assessment is a required step when determining the needs or success of your security program. Following NIST guidelines our risk experts perform interviews, documentation analysis, and walkthrough of physical areas to determine the state of the security program of the client. Our Cyber Risk Assessment is a useful tool at any phase of implementing a security program.

Take a look and get started today:

Explore Our Assessments

Everything You Need To Know About Ryuk Ransomware

Everything You Need To Know About Ryuk Ransomware

Ryuk is a ransomware that has targeted several large organizations demanding payment in bitcoins. Find out more about the Ryuk Ransomware and how you can prevent it. 

ryuk ransomware

Ryuk ransomware is well-planned and targeted ransomware that attacks large organization for a high ransom in return. The ransom is in the form of bitcoin. Unlike general ransomware, which is regularly distributed through large spam campaigns and exploit kits, Ryuk is used only for custom attacks.

The encryption scheme is designed for smaller operations, so only important resources are infected in each target network. Attackers manually infect and distribute. Ryuk code is unique as it identifies and encrypts network drives without leaving shadow copy at endpoints.

Ryuk Origins

First discovered in August 2018, this 15 months malware has collected total ransom from victims of almost 705.80 BTC across 52 transactions ranging from 15 BTC to 50 BTC for the total current value of USD 3,701,893.98. On 15th October 2018, Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) was attacked by Ryuk that disrupted their network.

Later in December, Tribune Publishing newspapers were hit by Ryuk that restricted them from printing their papers. US Defense Contractor is the latest to be targeted by Ryuk on 31st January 2020.

ryuk “Ryuk” was a name that was once a unique fictional character in popular Japanese comic books has now become a threat to many international organizations. But this factor is insufficient to link this malware to a Japanese origin. Instead, observing similarities in code, structure, attack vectors, and languages Cyber Point security researchers found a major connection between Ryuk and Hermes ransomware which now operates Lazarus Group, a North Korean APT group.

Who is Behind Ryuk Ransomware?

According to CrowdStrike, the hacking group behind Ryuk is named as GRIM SPIDER which is believed to be a small part of a Russian group known as WIZARD SPIDER.

How Does Ryuk Work?

Ryuk dropper contains a payload for both 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems. Using the “IsWow64Process” API, dropper confirms the type of operating system and its version being used and drops the payload. The payload is then executed using the “ShellExecuteW” API. A registry key is generated by Ryuk that executes on every login. This registry key is as follow:

“”C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe” /C REG ADD “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run” /v “svchos” /t REG_SZ /d “C:\Users\Public\{random-5 char}.exe” /f

In several remote processes, the main Ryuk’s code is injected except the processes named explorer.exe, lsaas.exe and csrss.exe. Ryuk Ransomware ends the process and stops the services included in the predefined list. These processes and services are mainly antivirus tools, databases, backups, and other software. To stop the infected system from restoring, Ryuk uses .BAT file that deletes the backup storage files and shadow copies. Ryuk uses RSA and AES encryption algorithms with three keys for encryption.

Cyber Threat Actors (CTA) use a globally dedicated RSA key as the basis for their model. The second RSA key is passed to the system through the main payload. This RSA key has been encrypted using CTA’s dedicated global RSA key. Once the malware is ready for encryption, an AES key is created for the victim’s file, and the key is encrypted with a second RSA key. Ryuk then began analyzing and encrypting each drive and network share on the system. Eventually, a ransom record “RyukReadMe.txt” is created and placed in each folder on the system.

Following events were observed on the victim’s system:

  • The hidden PowerShell script runs and connects to the remote IP address.
  • PowerShell anti-registration script runs on the host.
  • Network discovery is done using standard Windows command-line tools and loaded external tools.
  • The lateral movement will continue until you gain access to the domain controller.
  • PSEXEC is used to send Ryuk binary files to various hosts.
  • Run the batch script to end the process/service and delete the backup, then run the Ryuk binary.

Therefore, the exploit itself must be carefully designed. A standard encryption file AES-256 is used with a ransom note “RyukReadMe”. This contains two email addresses through which you will be contacted. Although some early infections require a certain amount, subsequent infections wait for contact before submitting a request. This may be a useful strategy because attackers can negotiate higher redemption prices. Before the device becomes infected, Ryuk Ransomware stops 180 services and more than 40 processes running on the system. The malware performs delete tasks and clear shutdown commands against a given list of processes and services. Some of the behaviors would be:

  • Bypass anti-virus products.
  • Be persistent on the target computer.
  • By injecting a Windows process, it works like a legitimate process.
  • End the process.
  • Out of service.
  • Functional file show different extensions for example, my.docx.locked

How to Remove Ryuk Ransomware

Manual removal techniques are not appreciated for the removal of Ryuk Ransomware. Make sure to remove Ryuk ransomware from the system using professional tools. SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes are the two software that is recommended by the experts to fight against such complicated malware. Even after the removal of Ryuk Ransomware, files on the system are still encrypted. This is because you will need the decryption key which is required to recover the locked data but unfortunately, the remote server that contains the decryption key is under control of the ransomware crew.

To access target, phishing emails are used by this malware. To get more ransom, a large number of such messages are sent to companies plus to increase the number of encrypted files. Therefore, your system gets infected just as you click the infected email. To gain your trust, these messages may contain professional logos and pretend to be sent by well-reputed organizations like Lloyds Bank, HSBC, and similar companies. Your careless behavior can cause you a substantial loss.

Here are some tips:

  • While browsing the internet or downloading software, pay close attention.
  • Be careful while opening an unknown email. Think twice before opening a suspicious email.
  • Only use official and verified sources when downloading software.
  • While downloading or updating the software, only use direct links and avoid third-party installers.
  • A recommended antivirus or spyware is essential and that should be regularly updated.

Some other methods to remove Ryuk are:

  • Using safe mode with networking
  • Using system restore

Can You Prevent Ryuk Ransomware?

With the proper tools, technology, and people watching your network, it will be possible to prevent Ryuk from infecting your internal systems. We recommend starting with a framework like NIST to create a baseline for any future security decisions. Adding tools like managed SIEM, MDR, and managed patch and vulnerability tools plus a team of security professionals constantly watching your network could prevent the RYUK Ransomware from being found on your network. 

To be help determine where to begin, start with a security risk assessment. We’ll provide recommondations to create a foundation for future strategic security decisions. 


All-in-One Cybersecurity

What is Smishing? How This Emerging Threat Puts Your Endpoints at Risk.

What is Smishing? How This Emerging Threat Puts Your Endpoints at Risk.

Smishing is the most recent emerging threat that could put your endpoints and your data at risk. Consider the following smishing guide and how your organization can prevent this threat.


If you spend any time online, you have probably heard of phishing, the widespread dissemination of deceptive emails designed to steal logon credentials, compromise personal information and facilitate the crime of identity theft.

And if you are in a position of power, you may be familiar with the dangers of spearphishing, a highly targeted attack aimed at executives and other decision makers.

Both phishing and spearphishing are real threats to cybersecurity, but what about smishing? Read on to learn about the risks of smishing, and how this emerging threat could compromise the private data on your smartphone and other mobile devices?

What is Smishing?

The “SM” in smishing is short for SMS, a protocol used by smartphones and mobile devices to send and receive text messages. If you have ever sent a text message or clicked on one in your inbox, you need to know about what smishing is, how it works and most importantly how you can protect yourself and your devices.

In IT speak, SMS is shorthand for short message service, and that is exactly what it is all about. Smishing scams hijack the SMS service on your mobile devices, creating fraudulent messages designed to compromise your security, steal your personal information and put the data on your smartphone at risk.

In many ways, smishing is just another form of phishing, and the tactics used will look all too familiar. The typical smishing message will masquerade as an important notice from your bank, often using frightening or misleading headlines to get you to click on the link.

The smishing message may contain an embedded link, a return telephone number or both. If you click on the link or call the contact number, you will likely become a victim.

Smishing scams have already been used to steal cash from bank accounts via cardless ATM transactions and rack up credit card purchases through compromised accounts. Since financial accounts are frequent targets of smishing attacks, consumers should be extra vigilant about messages originating from banks, credit card issuers, mutual fund companies, and brokerage firms.

How to Avoid Smishing Scams

There are a number of steps smartphone users can take to protect themselves from the growing threat of smishing. This emerging form of cybercrime is not going away; if anything, it is getting worse with every passing year. In the meantime, here are some simple things you can do to protect yourself, your data and your devices.

  • Never click links in unsolicited text messages, especially ones claiming to be from banks and other financial institutions.
  • Never respond to an unsolicited text message, not even to stop further messages from showing up. Some scam artists embed malware into the STOP link in their messages.
  • Keep your device up to date by downloading and installing all recommended security updates.
  • Download and use an antivirus or antimalware app on all your devices, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi, and never conduct sensitive business while connected to a public Wi-Fi network.
  • Delete any suspicious texts immediately and practice good text message hygiene.
  • Follow up – to validate text messages you think may be genuine. If you get a text message from your bank, call the bank directly to verify its authenticity.

Smishing scams hijack the SMS service on your mobile devices, creating fraudulent messages designed to compromise your security, steal your personal information and put the data on your smartphone at risk.

What is Smishing?

How to Avoid Smishing Scams

If you think you have already been victimized by a smishing attack, you should contact local law enforcement right away. Law enforcement agencies are familiar with the risk of cybercrime, and they can help guide you through the reporting and recovery process. edr

Prevention is always the best defense when it comes to cybercrime, but if you do become a victim there are additional steps you can take to recover and further protect your devices. If your smartphone or tablet has been compromised, you may need to do a factory reset to cleanse the infection and make the device safe to use. You can try running a malware and virus scan first, but if the device remains infected, a full factory reset may be the safest course of action.

You should also monitor your bank accounts, brokerage statements and credit card transactions carefully in the wake of a successful smishing attack. Once an attacker gains control of your smartphone or another mobile device, it can be hard to tell exactly what information they were able to gather. Exercising due diligence now is the best way to prevent further damage to your finances.

Smishing is a growing threat to your cybersecurity, and knowledge is the best defense. The more you know about how smishing schemes operate, what they look like and how to respond, the easier it will be to protect yourself and your mobile devices.

Enterprise Protection from Smishing Attacks

With the emergence of BYOD, Endpoint security is of vital importance. When a new threat like smishing emerges, it’s important that your employees are educated and that you have a way to protect your data. To protect all your endpoints, consider Cybriant’s MDR service.


When a credible threat is detected, our system will retrieve the process history and our team will analyze the chain of events in real-time and determine the validity of the threat. You’ll receive the alerts when threats are detected along with advice and insight from our cybersecurity team to help you mitigate and respond to the threat.

Once identified, the malicious activity is immediately stopped in its tracks and our team guides you through the remediation. This remediation process provides astonishing insight into the data of the threat. You’ll be able to help your organization reduce their attack surface by learning how you’ve been compromised.

If you are looking for an easy solution to protect your organization’s data efficiently, check out our Managed Detection and Remediation service. 

Protect Your Endpoints with MDR

3 Exclusive Benefits of Managed Endpoint Security

3 Exclusive Benefits of Managed Endpoint Security

Managed Endpoint Security combines prevention, detection, and remediation for all endpoints in a managed service. Here are 3 benefits you may not be aware of. 

managed endpoint security

Through Cybriant’s MDR service, we provide prevention and detection of attacks across all major vectors, rapid elimination of threats with policy-driven response capabilities, and complete visibility into the endpoint environment.

What is Managed Endpoint Security?

The official definition according to TechTarget is:

Endpoint security management is a policy-based approach to network security that requires endpoint devices to comply with specific criteria before they are granted access to network resources. Endpoints can include PCs, laptops, smart phones, tablets and specialized equipment such as bar code readers or point of sale (POS) terminals.

Through our managed service, Cybriant takes managed endpoint security to the next level with a light-weight agent that is deployed on each endpoint to deliver autonomous protection. Our team will utilize this technology to successfully detect and respond to both internal and external threats before infecting your network.

Three Exclusive Benefits 

#1 Prevent Malware

Managed Endpoint Security uses static-based machine learning to prevent malware attacks pre-execution and behavioral-based machine learning to prevent malware, exploit and script-based attacks that can’t be detected pre-execution.

The technology behind Cybriant’s MDR solution replaces or enhances your current antivirus by using machine-learning technology that does not rely on signatures and does not require daily/weekly updates or recurring scans.

Cybriant’s MDR service is tested against all major categories including:

  • RTTL: Response to the most prevalent malicious samples according to the AMTSO Real-Time Threat List
  • AVC: Response to most recent and prevalent malicious samples in the AVC database
  • WPDT: Performance on the top malicious websites compared to traditional business AV technology running in tandem
  • FPs: Ability to parse through false positives

The results? Our Managed Endpoint Security service performed in the top of the class with:

  • 100 percent malware detection across all four categories
  • 0 false positives

 #2 Prevent Breaches

Managed endpoint security provides vital protection against preventing breaches because many times when a company gets hacked, it’s because there is a computer, device, or website they didn’t know they own. Inventory every asset you own to determine what company resources are online and where you might be vulnerable. MDR or Managed EDR is now considered an essential requirement for all organizations to help increase visibility on corporate assets.

Since many MDR solutions in the marketplace are difficult or complicated to manage, clients enjoy the ease of outsourcing their managed endpoint security to Cybriant. By utilizing a service like Cybriant’s MDR service, organizations have access to a solution that can be managed and automated into their existing security flow, which will help lower costs and improve efficiency.

#3 Prevent Incidents

Advanced threats are the most difficult to detect. To prevent these types of threats you need the right technology as well as the right people watching the technology. With managed endpoint security you will maintain a constant watch to ensure the fastest detection and response with an extended security team.

Threats are taken through our multi-step process, conducting sample analysis as needed. Not only does MDR from Cybriant help reduce the time between breach and detection, we can also help stop the threat before it can fully execute.

Our experts utilize a static AI engine to provide pre-threat execution protection. The static AI engine replaces traditional signatures and obviates recurring scans that kill end-user productivity. By tracking all processes, our team is able to detect malicious activities, and use behavioral AI technology to respond at top speed. We can detect and stop file-based malware, scripts, weaponized documents, lateral movement, file-less malware, and even zero-days.

Managed Endpoint Security vs. Antivirus

The main difference between managed endpoint security and traditional anti-virus is that our MDR solution will discover the threat faster than antivirus.

The advanced technology used in our MDR service provides protection at the agent level before the attack occurs, which can eliminate the need for antivirus altogether.

As a managed service, our team is tracking all processes and their interactions at the agent level, utilizing the technology to detect malicious activity, which will trigger a lightning-fast response to protect your network. We can also help roll back endpoints to their pre-infected state if necessary.

For more on the potential of managed endpoint security and how it can benefit your organization, learn more at


Learn More About Cybriant's MDR Service

Cyber Warnings from Iran: Action to Take Today

Cyber Warnings from Iran: Action to Take Today

Recent tensions between the United States and Iran have resulted in a need to amplify your cybersecurity precautionary measures regarding cyber warnings from Iran.

Cyber Warnings from Iran

There are certain threat actor groups associated with or back by Iran that may be committed to carrying out a “proxy war” via cyber-attack. This would allow Iran to retaliate to perceived US aggression without incurring the same penalties as explicit military action.

cyber warnings from Iran ​These threat actors are fluent in the range of tools and attack methodologies available to them. These groups are interested in critical infrastructure and will use everything from commodity malware to highly evasive and destructive wipers and tools.

These cyber warnings from Iran are real. Organizations should take all the precautions necessary to prevent damage caused by cyber warfare.

Our partners at SentinelOne recently issued a statement with the following action to that you can take today.

At this time, we have no information indicating a specific, credible threat to U.S. organizations; however, given the current climate, it’s an apt time to fortify defenses. We encourage organizations to consider the following recommendations:

  1. Disable unnecessary ports and protocols. A review of your network security device logs should help you determine which ports and protocols are exposed but not needed. For those that are, monitor these for suspicious, ‘command & control’-like activity.
  2. Log and limit the use of PowerShell. If a user or account does not need PowerShell, disable it via the Group Policy Editor. For those that do, enable code signing of PowerShell scripts, log all PowerShell commands and turn on ‘Script Block Logging’. Learn more from Microsoft.
  3. Set policies to alert on new hosts joining the network. To reduce the possibility of ‘rogue’ devices on your network, increase visibility and have key security personnel notified when new hosts attempt to join the network.
  4. Backup now, and test your recovery process for business continuity. It is easy to let backup policies slide, or fail to prove that you can restore in practice. Also, ensure you have redundant backups, ideally using a combination of hot, warm and/or cold sites.
  5. Step up monitoring of network and email traffic. The most common vectors for intruders are unprotected devices on your network and targeted phishing emails. Follow best practices for restricting attachments via email and other mechanisms and review network signatures.
  6. Patch externally facing equipment. Attackers actively scan for and will exploit vulnerabilities, particularly those that allow for remote code execution or denial of service attacks.

Cybersecurity plays a mission-critical role in your organization and society-at-large. every second of every day. Together we will prevail over those who challenge our security and way of life.

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Consider PREtect as a Precautionary Measure

Our highest level of security is PREtect Premium. This service includes our top four most cyber-resilient services including:

  • Managed SIEM with 24/7 Security Monitoring and Analysis
  • Managed Detection and Remediation (MDR)
  • Responsive Patch Management
  • Real-time Vulnerability Management

Learn more about PREtect here:


Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton


Andrew Hamilton is a member of the executive management team of Cybriant, a leader in the cybersecurity services industry. As CTO he is responsible for the technical vision and the delivery of services at Cybriant. Since its founding in 2015, Andrew has led the selection, evaluation, and adoption of all security technology and tools utilized by Cybriant in the delivery of its managed security services.