KnowBe4 Now Offers Ransomware and Cryptocurrency Mining Attack Simulations

In addition to helping companies run phishing email simulations to test how effective their security awareness training programs have been, KnowBe4 has also developed RanSim – A ransomware simulator. The ransomware simulator tests how effective network security controls are at blocking ransomware attacks should an employee fail to recognize and email or web-based threat and accidentally download and install ransomware.

RanSim is a harmless testing tool that does not use any customers files. The tool does enumerate all local files but the only file encryption that takes place is on simulated data files downloaded from the Internet.

KnowBe4 has now announced that its RanSim tool has been updated. In addition to simulating attacks involving 13 ransomware variants, the tool now includes a simulation of a cryptocurrency mining infection.

Cryptocurrency mining malware has proven popular with cybercriminals over the past few months as attacks on businesses can prove extremely profitable.  The extent to which this form of malware has been adopted is best explained in figures. A recent report from Coherent Market Insights valued the cryptocurrency mining at $610.01 million in 2016 but predicts it will increase to $38.8 billion by 2025.

Secureworks notes that there has been recent surge in the use of cryptocurrency mining malware with large businesses targeted. While the disruption is not as immediate and extensive as a ransomware attack, “The cumulative effect of large-scale unauthorized cryptocurrency mining in an enterprise environment can be significant as it consumes computational resources and forces business-critical assets to slow down or stop functioning effectively,” said Secureworks in its report.

The addition of the new cryptocurrency mining malware infection scenario will help businesses check for this type of attack safely, before they are infected in a real world attack. “This tool is available at no-charge to help IT pros identify weaknesses in their networks, put stronger defense-in-depth strategies in place and stop the spread of crypto mining,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of