Seminar Talk Series – 12

24 April 2024



ORS Cyber Range - Ransomeware and Recent Events


Dr. Michael Roland - Cyber Security Expert - Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) - Department of Energy (DOE) – USA (online)

Date and Time:

Wednesday 24 April, 2024 at 3:15 PM

Location of event:

Beirut Arab University, Beirut Campus, Omar Faroukh Hall


Talk Summary:

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files or restricts access to a victim's system until a ransom is paid. It typically infiltrates systems through various means, including phishing emails, malicious downloads, compromised websites, or exploiting vulnerabilities in software. Understanding the tactics employed by ransomware actors is crucial in devising effective defense strategies. Nowadays, ransomware attacks target a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, finance, government, and critical infrastructure. Recent trends indicate an alarming increase in both the frequency and sophistication of attacks. Cybercriminals are evolving their techniques, incorporating advanced encryption algorithms, leveraging double extortion tactics, and actively targeting high-value assets and organizations with weak security postures.

Therefore, ransomware has emerged as one of the most potent and pervasive cyber threats, causing significant disruptions across various sectors. This seminar provides an overview of ransomware, its entry vectors, the cyber kill chain, top targets, recent trends, and the increasing use of data extortion. Additionally, it explores enabling technologies, preventive measures, and best practices for organizations to safeguard against ransomware attacks.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Michael Rowland is a principal member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories (DOE - USA) with a focus on Cyber Security. Prior to this role, he fulfilled and succeeded in key roles within the nuclear industry. He has guided efforts to develop international consensus publications and standards, specialized training courses for global audiences, national and site cybersecurity assessments, and advancing research efforts in incident response and cybersecurity of radiation detection systems. Mr. Rowland is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Professional Engineer and obtained his Bachelor’s of Engineering (Electrical) from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and Masters of Information Security from Royal Holloway, University of London.