The latest ransomware threat: Doxware



This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter’s approach.

As if ransomware wasn’t bad enough, there is a new twist called doxware. The term “doxware” is a combination of doxing — posting hacked personal information online — and ransomware. Attackers notify victims that their sensitive, confidential or personal files will be released online. If contact lists are also stolen, the perpetrators may threaten to release information to the lists or send them links to the online content.

Doxware and ransomware share some similarities. They both encrypt the victim’s files, both include a demand for payment, and both attacks are highly automated. However, in a ransomware attack, files do not have to be removed from the target; encrypting the files is sufficient. A doxware attack is meaningless unless the files are uploaded to the attacker’s system. Uploading all of the victim’s files is unwieldy, so doxware attacks tend to be more focused, prioritizing files that include trigger words such as confidential, privileged communication, sensitive or private.

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