Posted on June 8, 2017 at 6:34 PM
This high-tech era demands us to be extra cautious when using the internet. During the past couple of years, the risks of ransomware have exponentially boosted up. Following the rise of other cyber crime, ransomware has not been any of less. There are a handful of victim stories of ransomware attacks that have left the netizens stunned and concerned more about their data security.
When we talk about this epidemic cyber attack , how can we leave the recent and largest ransomware attack undiscussed? This crippling ransomware attack was later found to be the WannaCry crypto worm that attacked the running computers across the world, leaving them locked up and lost the data. This attack caused various computers to bolt and become inaccessible including those of National Health Service (NHS) Britain. This article covers every relevant information about ransomware, its protection, and cure.
What is Ransomware?
As its name suggests, Ransomware is a malware that gets injected through the real cyber crime called phishing. The attackers send thousands of targeted emails to hit the desired computer. These emails contain malicious links that can install malware on your computer with your consent. This malware will then give the access to your computer data to the hacker, and a strong encryption will be implemented on your computer. Consequently, this will result in losing your data and the hacker will likely to ask for ransom to release your data.
Moreover, this cyber attack falls into two types. One is Crypto ransomware that usually locks up the device and encrypts the sensitive data too; while the other one is Locky ransomware that only locks the device and makes it impossible for the user to access it.
How Did It Make A Headway?
However, it may sound something indigestible to you, but the first ransomware attack had triggered back in 1989. This attack called AIDS Trojan that spread through a floppy disk. The amount ransomed in this attack was $189 and paid for the post of Panama.
Amazingly, things have drastically changed after the evolution of Bitcoin payment and advancement of encryption algorithms. These technology advancements have cut the mustard for the cyber criminals, and now this has become a game of millions and billions of dollars.
Who Falls Into the Trap Most Frequently?
Cyber criminal did not take much of the time in understanding that the ordinary people may compromise with their data rather than paying the ransom. But targeting commercial computers and hacking their data will sure to bring more riches for them. This is because corporate sector’s data serves as the blood in the body of business.
Thus, more and more attackers have started chasing the big fish in the pond in a bid to get more mighty dollars. Therefore, where technology has bestowed many business software for a progressive growth, it also comes with a caveat of ransomware attacks that have scared the businessmen the most.
How Does It Spread through the Web?
Initially, ransomware attack used to spread via emails having malicious links. But now it expands through more ways like:
– Messaging with spamming links,
– Exploiting security of vulnerable software.
– Also, it sometimes injects malicious codes in the web pages of the legitimate websites.
How Does Ransomware Infect?
Following is steps by which this dangerous attack infect any victim:
– First, you receive a phishing email. You open it and by chance you click the link.
– You have successfully caught into the scammer’s trap. Now, without even your realization, a malware gets installed on your device and started eating up your data.
– This malware will give the access to your device and data to the attacker.
– Now the ball is in attacker’s court, and he will definitely be going to misuse it.
– Encryption will likely be applied to your device, making you unable to access your data.
– The attacker will then ask you to pay a hefty amount of money through Bitcoin.
Protection Against Ransomware:
Precaution is always better than cure! Yes, it is better to protect your data than to face the time when you have actually fallen victim to this crippling attack. Let’s us take a look at how we can protect our data against this grave threat.
– Always backup your data on cloud storage or any physical storage so that you can retrieve your data if you went under attack.
– Use reliable and robust antivirus to cope with such malware.
– Train your employees to be watchful and careful when clicking any link sent by an unknown source.
– Immediately disconnect the internet when you sense that you have fallen victim so that the other devices on your network be safe.
– Make sure that you keep your software up to date.
Follow all these advice and you could reduce your chances of getting hacked significantly!
Instead of paying you can Decrypt the Code!
If you paid the greedy attackers when they victimized you, you will only worsen the entire situation and strengthen them. Instead of paying them you better try to decrypt the codes and get your data back from those wrong doers. Here is the list of ransomware decryption tool by which you can decrypt the ransomware encryption.
Whilst the above decryption tools are good enough to tackle a ransomware, there are still some notorious attacks that cannot be decrypted, but the security experts are working on them to find a way out.