When Ransomware Is Not Really Ransomware

by Dave Wasson

Perhaps the most concerning trend is that some ransomware is not, in fact, ransomware. Some experts have determined that the ExPetr “ransomware” exists solely to wipe hard drives and permanently erase data.

Anton Ivanov and Orkhan Mamedov of Kaspersky labs commented, “Well, first of all, this is the worst-case news for the victims – even if they pay the ransom they will not get their data back. Secondly, this reinforces the theory that the main goal of the ExPetr attack was not financially motivated, but destructive.”

Others have asserted that this type of cyber weapon is most likely the product of state-sponsored actors, creating significant questions regarding the actions of foreign governments, including their insurability.

While many companies are not yet willing, and in many cases not required, to disclose these losses publicly, many companies have faced significant financial impact from recent widespread cyber attacks, both via traditional ransomware and the newer wipers.

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