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Ransomware continues to have a significant impact in 2023. While Lockbit 3.0 remains the most predominate ransomware, there are many other variants seen in the wild today. Understanding the trends of the past and current developments helps to prepare defenses against such attacks.

In June 2023, the United States Department of Justice announce the arrest of a Russian national and charged him with conspiracy to commit Lockbit ransomware attacks against the U.S. and foreign businesses. This is the second Lockbit related arrest in the last year and is believed to be responsible for a slight downward trend of successful Lockbit ransomware attacks compared to Q1 of

2023. In the DOJ announcement of the arrest, Lisa O. Monaco, Deputy Attorney General said “In securing the arrest of a second Russian national affiliated with the Lockbit ransomware, the Department has once again demonstrated the long arm of the law. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt cybercrime, and while cybercriminals may continue to run, they ultimately cannot hide.” While the apprehension of threat actors sends an important message to those who conduct such attacks, the void created is quickly filled by new ransomware groups.

Lockbit 3.0 ransomware builder/toolkit was leaked online which will allow anyone to create their own customized version of Lockbit. The result of the leaked builder is expected to result in an increase in Lockbit variants and attacks. While there has been an increase in successful apprehensions of ransomware actors, Q2 of 2023 has seen a 74% increase in overall ransomware

attacks when compared to the previous quarter. This increase is believed to be due to more threat actor groups and the successful exploitation of new vulnerabilities found in Q1 to 2023.

Fall of 2023: A Shift in Tactics

Ransomware initially was a single extortion factor, that is, pay the ransom or lose the data. With increased awareness and better defensive tactics, the ransomware actors appear to be turning from encrypting the data to a data leak extortion tactic, “either pay the ransom or the data will be leaked.” The significance of the tactic will avoid some ransomware detection defenses.

How To Defend Against Ransomware

The impact of a successful ransomware attack cannot be overestimated and preparation for such an attack is key to reduce both the likelihood and impact of such an attack. Here are some practical steps to prepare: Keep software patched and up to date, this includes both the operating system and applications. Keep servers and workstations on separate networks and inspect the traffic between them. Avoid exposing services to the internet such as Remote Desktop Protocol. Use Multifactor Authentication when accessing sensitive systems or remote systems such as email or a VPN. Backup important information, with at least one copy of the data offsite and periodically test the ability to restore from each archive of data. Use an antivirus/antimalware suite proven to be effective against ransomware. Have a plan to respond to an attack and test the plan periodically.

How Alpha Can Help

Alpha Technologies is perfectly suited to help you assess the risk of cyber-attacks and craft a plan to increase resiliency against disruptions to your business. I’m happy to do a security assessment with you on your business. Just give us a call: 304-201-2616


Tony has provided the following links for awareness.  Read on and then contact Alpha to get started with our suite of security software for your business!

More Ransomware Reading:


Ransomware in 2023? Yep, it's still a thing. As leaders steering the ship, it's essential to have an understanding on what's going on.

You've been told the basics: strong passwords, double-checking our identities with something called multi-factor authentication, and being wary of those oddly worded emails. But here's the bigger picture, folks.

Imagine your digital realm. Identify the linchpins—the data your organization can't function without or those applications driving your business. Pinpointed them? Superb! Recognizing what's essential is paramount. This isn't about merely deploying tech tools; it's about comprehending genuine risks and confronting them directly.

Here's a thought: Instead of getting lost in tech lingo and the maze of cybersecurity options, view cybersecurity through the lens of risk management. The first step? Grasping the risk.

Ready to take that step but need a guide? Alpha’s team specializes in identifying and mitigating risks tailored to your unique business needs. Let us partner with you to ensure your digital assets stay protected.

With Cybersecurity Month (yes, October) around the corner, why not take this as a cue to be ahead of the curve? A bit of preparation today can fend off many headaches tomorrow. Stay informed, stay ahead!





The State of Ransomware, Sophos Report 2023

Sophos’ annual study of the real-world ransomware experiences of IT/cybersecurity leaders makes clear the realities facing organizations in 2023. It reveals the most common root causes of attacks and shines new light on how experiences with ransomware differ based on organization revenue. Grab the report for a case study on over 3,000 leaders responsible for IT/cybersecurity.

KnowBe4 and the Mitnick Family, Honor Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick passed away on Sunday, July 16th, 2023. He was partial owner of KnowBe4. Read the statement from KnowBe4 here.

I've Been Hit By Ransomeware!

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency strongly recommends responding to ransomware by using the following checklist. Utilize these recommendations and then begin developing your Incident Response Plan. Alpha can help. Don't wait. Call today!



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Alpha Technologies Welcomes Josh Spence as CIO
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The Extreme & Alpha Advantage
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Business Development 


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