Emerging Cyber-Security Threats for 2020: The Rise of Disruptionware and High-Impact Ransomware Attacks

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Disruptionware is defined by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) as a new and “emerging category of malware designed to suspend operations within a victim organization through the compromise of the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the systems, networks and data belonging to the target.”  New forms of disruptionware can be a more crippling form of cyber-attack than other more “garden-variety” malware and ransomware attacks. This is the case since, as the ICIT notes, disruptionware not only attempts to encrypt and deny users access to their data, but works as a “layered attack” designed to “disrupt operations and production in manufacturing or industrial environments (as well as infrastructure) in order to achieve some other strategic goal.”

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