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Microsoft’s ransomware battle is just one skirmish in the cyber threat war in the run up to the US election, says GlobalData

October 2020 by GlobalData

Following the news that Microsoft has led an initiative to take down a ransomware threat from Trickbot malware ahead of the forthcoming US elections,

David Bicknell, Principal analyst in Technology Thematic Research at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the development:

“Microsoft’s move to take down the Trickbot botnet is welcome, but it is just a skirmish in the continual battle against cyber threats.

“The fact that Microsoft and other organizations decided to take coordinated action to shut down Trickbot now, four years after it was first spotted, highlights widespread fears that a ransomware attack could disrupt the upcoming US presidential election. Cybersecurity continues to be one of the most important themes facing organizations, both public and private. None of them are immune from the havoc a cyberattack can wreak on an organization, invading its systems and putting its very reputation and stability at stake.

“Trickbot has infected over a million computing devices around the world since late 2016. US authorities have concluded that hackers could use ransomware to infect systems that maintain voter rolls or report on election-night results. Such an attack would create chaos and distrust in full view of the watching world. Cybersecurity firms will certainly be at their most vigilant over the next three weeks in a bid to thwart any targeted cyber threats.

“Last week, one of Europe’s biggest software companies, Software AG, was the victim of a coordinated ransomware attack and faces a reputed ransom demand of around $20m from the hackers. The hackers have stepped up the pressure by threatening to publish some of the company’s confidential data on the Dark Web. If Software AG can be hit, then any company - tech or not - is potentially vulnerable to cyberattack.”

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