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What Are The Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware?

What Are The Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware picture
What Are The Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware?

Two of the Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware is through email with the notorious encryption code attached, or online downloadable files; also known as dive-by downloads. Learn how it really works from the experts.

1. The Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware

It may come as a professional email with an invoice, statement or any other attachment worth your attention.

As soon as you click to open the attachment. You're unknowingly activating the ransomware.

  • Ransomware is an ecryption based attack that keeps your information hostage for money in return.
  • Initially it may appear to be a professional business email with an enclosed document attached.
  • Once you open the attachment the attack ambush your data, network and operational resources.
  • The cybercriminals are now in full control, they use your data for extortion.
  • You're in a predicament: Do I pay, risks losing information or try to decrypt the data?

It encrypts, or security lock your computer from You of course. It spreads like a virus on all the computers on your network.

A message appears on your screen with the ransom request ranging anywhere between: $300 to $3 millions or more.

There's usually a deadline to pay up or else your saved data get deleted.

Perhaps distributed publicly or maliciously exposed in whatever way works best to get you running to the bank.

What Are Some Common Network Security Threats and Vulnerabilities?

What are the network security threats and vulnerabilities picture
2. Phishing

This is one of the oldest yet common cybersecurity threats. The attack can be done telephonically, directly or online.

In this article we cover the internet based method. However the principles is the same.

  • The impersonation of a genuine business, consultant or service provider.
  • Psychological manipulation methods to easily obtain private, confidential, proprietary or sensitive data.
  • Use telephone method, email medium or direct approach in private or public places.
  • Use the private information to money or the users identity.

Phishing attacks is more on a psychological level, rather than technical plane. Although it somehow includes a bit of both.

It's a process where the user are tricked to willingly give away personal information; without the slightest idea that they're being scammed.

In most cases cybercriminals tend to use the email medium. They may send you an email which may look like a communication from your bank, a credit provider, learning institution or any service your subscribe to.

It may convincingly appear like a fraud alert, or any other trick that triggers your emotional impulses. Requesting you to change your password.

They may include a link to the assumed to be website. It usually links to the page where you should change your password.

Little do you know that it's not a real website, it's usually a static page used to record your login details.

Which they use in return to go to the actual website to transfer money, pretend to be you or abuse your details in a fraudulent way.

3. Denial-of-service attack

This is a process where malware access a network and scan the ports for weaknesses. This system get overloaded and overworked with unimportant work due to the exhaustive search and extra data vacuuming up space.

  • The network is flooded with exhaustive search process and duplicates data.
  • The data storage resources gets burdened and overloaded due to the storage.
  • The entire network is under extreme pressure and exhaustively overworked on irrelevant tasks.
  • The network eventually bottleneck due to it being diverted to extra duties, while still trying to maintain its original function.

As a result the network neglects duties it's supposed to do, due to the useless scanning duty.

Little by little it becomes slower and less functional till it seizes to operate.

Your networks stops working and your business duties comes to a halt.


Choose an Internet Service Provider like XDSL that are fully equipped to resist such attacks.

If your ISP is not ready to prevent these types of network security attacks. These kind of threats are prevented from a Service Provider level.

4. Man-in-the-middle attack

There is usually a two way communication between a you (the client) and service provider (business).

Whether you connect to your online banking facility, receiver of revenue website or any other Internet based service.

  • Breach the security between sealed End to End security (customer and business)
  • Obtain the customer's profile or IP to easily access the business as a genuine client.
  • Contact the business while impersonating the Customer, to get access to sensitive data.

Now businesses normally invests large sums of money and resources on network security. Unfortunately I can't say the same for consumers.

And hackers are smart enough to know home users are more vulnerable. Thus they search and exploit the flaws in a customers computer.

As a result they disguises by posing as a legit customer by hijacking the customer's profile or IP address to extract private information out of the business.


Since the user is the weakest link in the communication process. The user has to invest more money in antivirus, firewalls and network monitor resources.

There are many sophisticated online behaviour monitoring and fraud prevention tools. Avast, McAfee, ESET, and many others offers great solutions.

5. Spyware:

There's a much Intrusive and more powerful than ever spyware that recently showed its ugly head. But before you get there, or you can read it by accessing the above hyperlink.

The old spywarerequired human intervention or activity to activate it. You received an email, tried to download an online app, ebook or file.

  • Sent as an e-mail with a malicious link. It could also appear in the form of a downloadable application, file or document.
  • Attracted by the appealing appearance, you may click to open the mail or download.
  • Secretly the spyware code downloads, access your data and violates your privacy.
  • The criminal get access to all your information remotely. They use your login details, accounts, profiles and transfer money to and fro.

It may give you an error message, little do you know the spyware was executed and contiminated your PC, Smartphone or tablet.

The sender can now spy on your online activities, saved data, login details and privacy.


There are many Antivirus, Anti-spyware or combinations of both; to prevent spyware attacks.

Internet firewalls also disrupts communication between senders and the victim's computer. Fortunately most sophisticated WiFi routers comes with built in firewall security.

However the the latest spyware is invisible and there are no Prevention measures just yet.

In Conclusion

The Most Common Ways Used By Attackers To Spread Ransomware through email or downloading malicious files online that appears trustworthy. Learn more here about the consequences of drive by ransomware downloads and how to avoid them.