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How to Recognize the Warning Signs of a Ransomware Attack

By November 5, 2020No Comments5 min read
Warning Signs of a Ransomware Attack

Companies are trying to protect their networks and data from ransomware attacks. Sometimes these attacks can come from an email. Also, sometimes your own employees can infect your systems. There are still events and vulnerabilities that you can look for. This will help you in minimizing the probability of a ransomware attack. It will help you in detecting ransomware attacks easily. In this article, we are going to share some warning signs that you should look out for.

  1. Phishing

Most attackers will use phishing for sending malicious files to your systems. Thus, you should ensure that you are using the best email monitoring and filtering option available in the market. These tools will help you in flagging all the suspicious emails. Also, it will help network admins in understanding why the email was deleted. Attackers will mostly send zip or exe files to your employees. These files can be directly executed in your systems. Thus, these files will mostly get blocked. The network admin can verify these files before downloading them.

These tools will also send a warning to your workers. You should try to monitor all the business email accounts. Also, make sure that you are monitoring employee’s account that has access to your sensitive information.

These tools will also check for public email domains. Make sure that you are checking for grammatical mistakes in emails. Most companies will never make these mistakes. Also, these tools should check for suspicious HTML elements and wrong domain emails.

  1. Old Operating Systems

You might think that Operating systems are not related to ransomware attacks. However, it is important to install security patches of your OS. The WannCry ransomware attack affected millions of systems just because they forget to update their system. This attack exploited the SMB protocol vulnerability. Most companies just forget to download this security patch. The best way to deal with this challenge is by using a good patch management solution.

  1. Monitor all the events

You should use the best real-time auditing solutions available in the market for monitoring your network. These security solutions can respond to your pre-defined events. You can define the events according to your condition.

These tools can respond to failed login attempts. This will act as a warning sign for your network admins. Your network admins can work on investigating this issue. These tools can also detect ransomware if it is encrypting multiple files. This won’t help you in stopping the ransomware attack. But, it will help you in slowing down the attack.

  1. Remote Access

Remote Desktop Protocol is used by users for remotely accessing organization files and applications. However, sometimes attackers can use the same protocol for infecting your systems. It is becoming one of the most famous methods to attack networks as most employees are working remotely.

The attacker will first check the internet for the open RDP ports. There are various port-scanning tools available in the market. The attacker will use the stolen credentials for accessing your network. If they have access to your network, then they will disrupt all the security systems. Thus, your antivirus software and firewall won’t work. After disabling your security solutions, they will install the ransomware in your network.

You can use security solutions for checking your RDP service status. Thus, you can respond to failed login attempts. You can use auditing solutions for detecting the deletion of data backups. There is no reason to intentionally delete data backups. You should also regularly scan your network for malicious applications.

  1. Test attacks

Sometimes attackers will first test ransomware attacks on your network. They will try to infect some of your network devices. If the attack fails, then the attacker will look for a different approach. They will keep trying until they gain access to a small part of your network. It is important to detect these small attacks. Most companies ignore these small attacks. However, these attacks are mostly done by attackers to check your network security solutions. You should start preparing yourself for a big attack. Make sure that you are also blocking all these small attacks. This will demoralize the attackers and they will move to some other sites. Thus, it is important to use the best network monitoring solutions available in the market.

  1. Inactive accounts

Inactive user accounts are not related to any hacking attacks. However, you should use the best real-time auditing solution for managing these inactive accounts. These accounts don’t mean that your network is being targeted by attackers. Sometimes your employees can leave your company. In that case, you will have an inactive user account in your network. However, attackers will mostly look for these accounts. These accounts are the perfect payload from them. They will deploy their attacks by using these accounts.

  1. Look for Mimikatz

This tool is used by attackers for stealing passwords and usernames. It uses the SSO feature of Windows for carrying out ransomware attacks. You might think that you can detect this tool by using endpoint security tools. However, these endpoint security tools are not effective against Mimikatz.

If an attacker is using minimkatz, then they will already have access to your network. Thus, they can disable all your antivirus and security solutions. The only way to protect your network is by ensuring that the admin privileges are given to your network admins only.

Your users might be doing some malicious activity in your network. You can use advanced ML algorithms for detecting usage patterns. These tools will send alerts to your network admins in case of suspicious activity.


These are some of the common warning signs of a ransomware attack. However, it is very difficult to detect a ransomware attack. You should have access to a good IT security team for detecting these attacks. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSSP. Experienced MSSPs like Bleuwire will monitor your network for ransomware attacks. They will also help you in protecting your network from other attacks. Thus, they are the best option for small and medium-sized businesses. They can help you in protecting your data and network from attackers. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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