Do you know what Ransomware is and makes you vulnerable to Ransomware attacks? Have you ever been a victim of such an attack? We will try to give you a short lesson about Ransomware and how to better prepare yourself if someone tries to send you Ransomware.
Simply put, Ransomware encrypts your system and files and demands a ransom in order to decrypt them. The attacker holds the private key which can decrypt the data. However, 99% of the victims who paid the ransom didn’t get their files decrypted. The payment is requested in crypto currency because it is untraceable and it is difficult to track the attacker. The corrupted files or systems can’t be decrypted without the private key which makes things worse. In a nutshell there are two types of Ransomware – locking computer or device, and encrypting files or data. However, there are some methods and techniques that can save your data even if your system was infected with Ransomware.
First, let us explain how your system can get infected with Ransomware. The most common way is by opening a spam email containing malware. The malware itself can be attached as a document, picture, or archive, or can be accessed by clicking on a malicious link. In order to succeed into tricking the victim, the attacker uses social engineering by posing as someone else in order to gain victim’s confidence and make them open the file or click on the malicious link.
Now you’re probably asking yourself how to better protect your system from Ransomware. As we mentioned above, in most cases the malware is contained in emails. Beware when you receive emails by unknown senders. When you operate with important data or sensitive information, be sure to double check the sender’s email address before you open the content. Very often the attacker pretends to be someone else. For example, the hacker can buy a domain that seems familiar to you. And it’s not only with Ransomware – many other internet attacks are domain purchase related but we will talk about them in other articles.
The next step is to create a backup copy of all your important data. You can choose cloud storage or external device to create backup on a regular basis. If you choose cloud storage, be sure to implement multi-factor authentication. If you choose to use an external device, be sure to disconnect it after the backup process has finished to prevent infecting it with Ransomware as well.
Last but not least step to keep your system safe is to update it to the latest released version. There are many Ransomwares exploiting vulnerabilities in older software versions so be sure to update your OS and your apps as soon as new version is released. The best way to do that is to enable automatic updates.
Our advice is to always stay informed. You need to educate yourself how to detect suspicious emails, spam, etc. Usually the hackers are using social engineering to infect systems with Ransomware. So if anything seems suspicious to you, most probably it is.