Posts by: Mustafa El-Jarrah

PCI Breach Trend Report September 2015 – January 2016

The period September 2015 – January 2016 is covered in this issue of SRM’s breach trend report which looks at businesses that had a requirement for a PFI investigation. The data presented looks at the most common types of businesses affected as well as their trading size to present a broad picture of how breaches can occur across the industry.

Breach Trend Report September 2015 – January 2016


As with any black hat related activity, innovations are always emerging to circumvent security and exploit vulnerabilities. Older forms of ransomware was mostly kept by specific groups of hackers that would utilise it solely for their personal gain.

As of recent times, a new form of ransomware has been identified that affects Windows, Linux and Mac with Javascript code. This nasty program acts as a Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) which allows anyone to download and distribute their own copy as long as they have a bitcoin address.

In return for this service, the developers of this ransomware take 25% of all ransom payments. Victims of ransomware are presented with a ‘lock screen’ which informs them that all their files have been encrypted together with a message demanding a certain amount of Bitcoin payment in order to decrypt their data.

New variations of this malware will continue to rise as they are an easy way of making money and so far there is no way of decrypting the majority of ransomware as they use strong encryption that is used within the Internet.

The worrying factor for this new ransomware is the implications of it being offered as a service as opposed to keeping it within the confines of a few groups; when coupled with ease of use and quick money, it is fairly easy to see how this can spread like wildfire among unsuspecting users.

Time and time again, the basic best practices of security are repeated to warn people of the risks of this compromise. In this case, crucial safeguards would be to avoid visiting malicious websites and being extra cautious with email attachments by verifying the email source.


PCI Breach Trend Report June 2015

In the last twelve months, Security Risk Management (SRM) ltd has been contacted by over 65 companies legally required to seek assistance in securing data breaches. The largest number of cases (38%) came from specialist online retailers and clothing retailers (27%).

The majority of businesses affected with a breach were at the small end of the business scale. Where figures have been released, the average number of cards affected per breach was 850 on average.

The most common attack method was through Remote File Inclusion (RFI), a method of running malicious code on a victim’s system, providing the intruder with unrestricted access and enabling them to steal sensitive information and execute malicious actions.

Trend Report Businesses Affected


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