Ransomware attacks are becoming more and more frequent. They have been described by experts and reporters as an epidemic, and new strains are constantly popping up and evolving. Millions of people are vulnerable to ransomware attacks, and understanding more about these terrible circumstances will help minimize the risk. While no one is invincible to these style of attacks, understanding these ten topics will help you limit your own chances of getting hit by aggressive ransomware.
1. Ransomware Attacks is a Kidnapping
Ransomware has one mission. To kidnap data and then to demand payment to secure the data’s release. The style of attack is a called a malware. This is because the goal of this malware isn’t to break the computer or acquire information. Its mission is simple. It will hold a collection of data hostage, and it will demand payment.
2. How do you know You’ve been Attacked?
Ransomware has a knack for being stealthy. In fact, it’s possible for you to be a victim of a ransomware attack right now even if you don’t know it. Many people who become a target of ransomware don’t even realize that the data they have is being held hostage. In some cases, these viruses are only discovered when owners try to access specific files only to find out that they have been locked.
3. What type of Ransomwares Exist?
There are currently two major categories of ransomware. The first is locker, and the second is crypto. Locker attacks are aimed restricting access to functions like getting online or accessing the desktop. These programs are usually easier to fix because they stay away from crucial files. However, the crypto style of data hostage is more popular, and its way more dangerous. After a computer is hit with the code, files are chosen and then encrypted using an algorithm that’s hard to crack. Usually pictures, videos, and documents are held hostage. However, newer styles of attacking are locking executable files making the situation far more dangerous for professionals.
4. How to Protect yourself from Ransomware
The first step you need to take to keep your computer secure is to install an antivirus software that will help protect your computer if it happens to get effected by malware. Some great software can be expensive, but it’s well worth the cost if you get targeted. Next, ensure that your computer’s operating system is up to date. If you’ve been putting off updates for a few months, you’re far more susceptible to attacks than if your computer was up to date.
5. Back up your Files
Backing up your files may be the easiest way to protect yourself against ransomware. If you have a lot of valuable data on your computer, the best way to secure it is through connecting it to an external hard-drive. That way if you’re computer gets infected, you won’t have to worry about losing valuable documents or priceless pictures.
6. Be Aware
Typically attacks occur through phishing strategies. If you’re cruising through your emails and you see a fishy one, it’s best to ignore it. It’s also very important to ensure that you recognize all the senders that are dropping into your mailbox. Odds are that any unidentified emails have links on them. If these links are clicked, things will probably turn south fast. Also, be aware of any popups that occur. As a rule of thumb, any popup that asks you to click through may hold ransomware. Make sure you trust the sources you click in popup ads.
7. What to do if you have been Attacked
If you’ve been hit by ransomware, it’s time to act. Disconnect from the internet, and isolate your machine from all your other devices as well as any external drives you have. If you’re not careful, this virus could spread into your cloud and become a catastrophe for all your technology.
Next, take a picture of the note and save it for the police. You’re not the only one this has happened to. But before we involve anyone, let’s fix the problem. Use an antivirus software to clean out your device of the malware. While this process will stop the spreading of the virus, it will not unlock the files that have already been encrypted. It’s time to cut your losses, because the damage that’s been done cannot be avoided. However, you can save more damage from occurring in the future.
If you’ve been hit by a screen-locking style ransomware, the process is way easier. Reboot the computer through safety mode, and remove the virus. If that doesn’t work, simply hit system restore.
8. Recovering Files
Now that you’ve stopped the malware from spreading, you can focus on recovering your files. Luckily, there are tools available that can help you recover the files that you have lost. Do a search for tools that can recover permanently deleted files on your computer. This will give you the chance to recover those same files that were held hostage. Typically, what happens is the ransomed files are duplicates of the originals that stealthily got deleted.
9. Try Decryption
If you’re unable to recover your files, there are sites available that specialize in decrypting ransomware. See if you can identify the strain, and then use these websites to try to decrypt and access your files.
Whether you’re trying to protect your computer or you’ve already gone through the process of overcoming an attack, there’s nothing that you can do to control it now. Stay aware of those fishy links and ads, and always make sure your files are backed up to a disconnected hard drive. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll never have to encounter devastating damage from these cyberattacks.