Ransomware poses a huge threat to all of your data and digital devices. It’s a special form of malware. The first part of the word tells you everything you need to know. In the end, it is extortion that can lock your computer down and demand some type of payment for its release.
One of the things that makes it especially dangerous is the fact you need access to a private key. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to decrypt any of the files that are being held for ransom.
Once the files are taken hostage, this malicious software prompts a user to pay a ransom within usually 24 to 48 hours. Hackers threatened that otherwise the files will be lost. That’s an especially big problem for individuals and businesses without properly backed up data.
The Different Kinds of Ransomware.
There are lots of different variations but two major kinds.
- Crypto Ransomware, which is a type of malicious attack where individual files are encrypted.
- Locker Ransomware, which basic computer functions are held hostage.
These types of attacks and their variations are evolving. In many cases, they are countering the technologies designed to fight back. There are several reasons for this including:
- New technologies that are evolving. For example, encrypting selected files has been replaced by attacking a complete disk instead.
- Malware kits have become more readily available. This creates the ability to build new versions of these viruses on demand.
This situation isn’t hopeless. There are several things that users should and shouldn’t do when it comes to combatting ransomware
First off, it’s always critical to back your data up. That way you can restore any impacted files. Make sure that you are using a reputable firewall, antivirus and other cybersecurity software. It’s also important to make sure your computer software has the latest security patches and is all up to date.
Content Filtering and Scanning
Make sure that you have good content filtering and scanning products on your mail servers. Inbound emails in particular need to be scanned for phishing, ransomware, spam and any suspicious threats. Any service should also block any malicious links and attachments that could pose a threat.
Don’t Provide Personal Information
Don’t provide any personal information when you’re answering emails, text messages, or IMs. Some phishers even pose as reputable IT professionals. An easy solution to this is to use Email Phishing and Spam Protection. Finally, if you are accessing a public Wi-Fi system, make sure you use a credible virtual private network.
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