Hello Mi Fans,
Ever wondered what all the ransomware fuss is about? You've heard about it at the office or read about it in the news. Maybe you've got a pop-up on your computer screen right now warning of a ransomware infection. Ransomware attack is quite common nowadays since Malicious software spreading everywhere through various mediums. The cybercriminals that use it are looking to do one thing, extort your money. Not unlike the movies, it usually starts with an ominous ransom note demanding money.
In simple words, Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim's files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment. In many cases, the ransom demand comes with a deadline. If the victim doesn’t pay in time, the data is gone forever. The earliest variants of ransomware were developed in the late 1980s, and payment was to be sent via snail mail. Today, ransomware authors order that payment be sent via cryptocurrency or credit card.
Ransomware attacks are all too common these days. Major companies in North America and Europe alike have fallen victim to it. Cybercriminals will attack any consumer or any business and victims come from all industries. Furthermore, half of the victims who pay the ransom are likely to suffer from repeat attacks.
Ransomware is a type of malware designed to extort money from it victims, who are blocked or prevented from accessing data on their systems. The two most prevalent types of ransomware are encryptors and screen lockers. Encryptors, as the name implies, encrypt data on a system, making the content useless without the decryption key. Screen lockers, on the other hand, simply block access to the system with a “lock” screen, asserting that the system is encrypted.
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There are a number of vectors ransomware can take to access a computer. One of the most common delivery systems is phishing spam — attachments that come to the victim in an email, masquerading as a file they should trust. Once they're downloaded and opened, they can take over the victim's computer, especially if they have built-in social engineering tools that trick users into allowing administrative access. Some other, more aggressive forms of ransomware, like NotPetya, exploit security holes to infect computers without needing to trick users.
Victims are often notified on a lock screen (common to both encryptors and screen lockers) to purchase a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, to pay the ransom fee. Once the ransom is paid, customers receive the decryption key and may attempt to decrypt files. Decryption is not guaranteed, as multiple sources report varying degrees of success with decryption after paying ransoms. Sometimes victims never receive the keys. Some attacks install malware on the computer system even after the ransom is paid and the data is released.
There are several different ways attackers choose the organizations they target with ransomware. Sometimes it's a matter of opportunity: for instance, attackers might target universities because they tend to have smaller security teams and a disparate user base that does a lot of file sharing, making it easier to penetrate their defenses.
On the other hand, some organizations are tempting targets because they seem more likely to pay a ransom quickly. For instance, government agencies or medical facilities often need immediate access to their files. Law firms and other organizations with sensitive data may be willing to pay to keep news of a compromise quiet — and these organizations may be uniquely sensitive to leakware attacks. Some ransomware also spreads automatically and indiscriminately across the internet.
While ransomware has technically been around since the '90s, it's only in the past five years or so that it's really taken off, largely because of the availability of untraceable payment methods like Bitcoin. While there continues to be variations in the code, targets, and functions of ransomware, the innovation in ransomware attacks are typically incremental. Some of the worst offenders have been:
And this list is just going to get longer. It's important to follow the tips listed here to protect yourself.
Prevention is the best way to have ransomware protection. Not all protection is made equal, however. Ransomware Attack typically follows a 10-step process that looks like this:
How to Avoid Ransomware Attacks
How to Remove Ransomware
Unfortunately, when it comes to Ransomware Attack, it probably will be around for a long time. This easy and malicious way of robbing individuals and company’s can cost billions of dollars not to mention the privacy and safety implications. There is hope in ransomware prevention through educating yourself on what to look out for and what to do if you do get attacked.
True ransomware protection happens with a multi-layered defense system, that seals up all the spots these malicious intruders would break-in. Don’t be afraid, be protected.
Source: 1, 2, 3
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