The number of cyber-attacks around the world exploded in 2020: exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of the shift in focus towards smart working and hospital staff transferred to the frontline.
This paper (May 2019) is a systematic review of the anatomy of ransomware with the aim of serving as a benchmark for researchers in proposing a novel ransomware detection methodology and starting point for novice researchers.
Abstract: Ransomware is advanced and upgraded malicious software which comes in the forms of Crypto or Locker, with the intention to attack and take control of basic infrastructures and computer systems. The vast majority of these threats are aimed at directly or indirectly at making money from the victims by asking them for a ransom in exchange for decryption keys.
Methods: This systematic literature analysed the anatomy of ransomware, including its trends and mode of attacks to find the possible solutions by querying various academic literature. In contrast to previous reviews, sources of ransomware datasets are revealed in this review paper to ease the challenges of researchers in getting access to ransomware datasets. In addition, a taxonomy of ransomware current trends is presented in the paper.
Results: The cited articles are discussed in detail, alongside the evolution and trend in ransomware researches. Most of the techniques deployed could not completely prevent ransomware attacks because of its obfuscation techniques, but rather recommend proper and regular backup of important files. This review can serve as a benchmark for researchers in proposing a novel ransomware detection methodology and starting point for novice researchers.
PANACEA Research perspectives: This paper is of general interest as it provides insights into the state of the art in research on ransomware detection and prevention techniques.
Keywords: Ransomware, taxonomy.
Lookout Watch entry date: 07/08/2019