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Ransomware: An update on the nature of the threat

The technology of ransomware has evolved in sophistication and the business models of the criminal groups behind it have as well. The result: The threat from ransomware has reached pandemic proportions.

This post provides an executive level overview of the nature of this threat. This post is part of the OODA Cybersecurity Sensemaking series and is designed to be read as an introduction to our accompanying post on how to mitigate the threat of ransomware to your organization.

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Cybersecurity Sensemaking: Strategic intelligence to inform your decisionmaking

The OODA leadership and analysts have decades of experience in understanding and mitigating cybersecurity threats and apply this real world practitioner knowledge in our research and reporting. This page on the site is a repository of the best of our actionable research as well as a news stream of our daily reporting on cybersecurity threats and mitigation measures. See: OODA Cybersecurity Sensemaking

From Solar Sunrise to Solar Winds: The Questionable Value of Two Decades of Cybersecurity Advice

While the Ware Report of 1970 codified the foundations of the computer security discipline, it was the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection report of 1997 that expanded those requirements into recommendations for both discrete entities as well as the nascent communities that were growing in and around the Internet. Subsequent events that were the result of ignoring that advice in turn led to the creation of more reports, assessments, and studies that reiterate what was said before. If everyone agrees on what we should do, why do we seem incapable of doing it? Alternately, if we are doing what we have been told to do, and have not reduced the risks we face, are we asking people to do the wrong things?  See: From Solar Sunrise to Solar Winds: The Questionable Value of Two Decades of Cybersecurity Advice

If SolarWinds Is a Wake-Up Call, Who’s Really Listening?

As the U.S. government parses through the Solar Winds software supply chain breach, many questions still remain as to the motive, the entities targeted, and length of time suspected nation state attackers remained intrenched unseen by the victims.  The attack stands at the apex of similar breaches in not only the breadth of organizations compromised (~18,000), but how the attack was executed. See: If SolarWinds Is a Wake-Up Call, Who’s Really Listening?

Executive Level Action In Response to Ongoing Massive Attacks Leveraging Microsoft Vulnerabilities

This post provides executive level context and some recommendations regarding a large attack exploiting Microsoft Exchange, a system many enterprises use for mail, contact management, calendar/scheduling and some basic identity management functions. This attack is so large and damaging it is almost pushing the recent Solar Winds attacks off the headlines. Keep in mind that till this point, the Solar Winds attack was being called the biggest hack in history. So this is a signal that the damage from this one will also be huge. See: Executive Level Action In Response to Ongoing Massive Attacks Leveraging Microsoft Vulnerabilities

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes OODALoop.com and CTOvision.com. Bob is the author of the book The Cyber Threat. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency.