James Espinosa

Author Archives: James Espinosa

Anatomy of a Targeted Ransomware Attack

Anatomy of a Targeted Ransomware Attack
Anatomy of a Targeted Ransomware Attack

Imagine your most critical systems suddenly stop operating, bringing your entire business to a screeching halt. And then someone demands a ransom to get your systems working again. Or someone launches a DDoS against you and demands ransom to make it stop.  That’s the world of ransomware and ransom DDoS.

So what exactly is ransomware? It is malicious software that encrypts files on computers making them useless until they are decrypted. In some cases, ransomware could even corrupt and destroy data. A ransom note is then placed on compromised systems with instructions to pay a ransom in exchange for a decryption utility that can be used to restore encrypted files. Payment is often in the form of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.

Recently, Cloudflare onboarded and protected a Fortune 500 customer from a targeted Ransom DDoS (RDDoS) attack -- a different type of extortion attack.

Prior to joining Cloudflare, I responded to and investigated a large number of data breaches and ransomware attacks for clients across various industries, including healthcare, financial, and education, to name a few. I’ve been in the trenches analyzing these types of attacks and working closely with clients to help them recover from the aftermath.

In this Continue reading