Love Bites: Ransomware Mimics Love Letter

You’ve probably heard the expression “love hurts” in the context of a heartbreak, but how about a ransomware attack?

This Valentine’s Day, we’ve heard reports that internet criminals are taking advantage of human emotions with romantically-inspired ransomware attacks. With Valentine Day inspired subject lines – ‘My letter just for you’ or ‘Wrote my thoughts down about you’ – these phishing emails are pulling at the heartstrings. Once the email is opened, victims see a love-letter named attachment that, if downloaded, will immediately install ransomware onto the victim’s computer. This will encrypt the victim’s computer until they pay the determined ransom.

These holiday-specific ransomware attacks are nothing new to consumers, but are increasingly targeting small businesses.

To keep your small business network secure from this type of targeted attacks, experts recommend creating a strong patch management policy. Patches are released when a provider discovers a vulnerability in their system that needs fixing, but organizations are not yet effective at installing these patches when these vulnerabilities are discovered. A 2018 Ponemon Institute report showed that 34% of cyber-attack victims were already aware of a vulnerability prior to being attacked. Small businesses need to have proper patch management in place to address a vulnerability prior to its exploitation by cyber-criminals.

As cyber-criminals become more specific and targeted (and even a little romantic), IT teams need to become more preventative and secure. Patch management is a key step to preventing targeted ransomware attacks and to staying one-step ahead of cyber-criminals.

To learn more about what a cyber-attack costs a small business, check out our infographic here:


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