Ransomware is becoming the rising aspect in Internet security. When an Internet user submits his sensitive information to the global village of the Internet, it becomes crucial for him to take all precautionary measures to prevent ransomware. You ultimately become subject to the mercy of that hacker, once your data gets hacked.
What ransomware can do besides encrypting your data? and how will you stop such a threat? In this blog, we will share with you the menace that ransomware can cause and how to avoid ransomware.
What is Ransomware?
It is a refined piece of malware that accesses your operating system and locks all your devices, preventing you from accessing your own data. The hacker asks you to pay a sum of money in exchange of which he will hand over you, your precious data, which is hardly the outcome.
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When it comes down to choose whether a user wants to retrieve his data or lose authorization to it forever, he helplessly agrees to the terms and conditions put forth by the hacker. This is so because the victim is unaware of how to remove ransomware.
A Brief History of Ransomware
The first occurrence of ransomware was in 1989 named as PC Cyborg Trojan or AIDS. Thus, ransomware is not a fresh incident. CryptoLocker, one of the first ransomware Trojan was spread via Gameover ZeuS botnet and phishing emails. CryptoLocker had a booming business as it profited $33,600 in a day by encrypting data and decrypting it once ransom was paid.
The era of CryptoLocker came to an end in June 2014 after it had infected more than a million computers. The Massachusetts cops even paid ransom to get their data restored that was infected with CryptoLocker via phishing email disguised as a PDF attachment that claimed to be from a government department.
An ill-famed ransomware Locky made it on the headlines by affecting a Hollywood hospital. However, the hospital was helpless and paid a $17,000 ransom for the removal of ransomware in order to get its networks re-established.
With the apparent progress of CryptoLocker others followed in its footsteps and by 2016, approximately 40% of business worldwide reported having suffered at the hands of ransomware attacks.
Bitcoin transactions are conducted with anonymity and are used as a means for not only paying for goods and services but also to collect ransomware. An FBI report issued in 2015 says: “Criminals prefer Bitcoin because it’s easy to use, fast, and publicly available, decentralized and provides a sense of heightened security/anonymity.”
What precautionary steps can be taken to prevent yourself from ransomware?
- You may back up their sensitive data on a portable device and keep it unplugged and well hidden. This is the best precautionary step to prevent ransomware attacks because only exclusive information is valuable.
- To stop ransomware from targeting online access places you may use a VPN when browsing especially when using a public Wi-Fi. However, a VPN may not protect you from downloading malware because a VPN encrypts your online activity but the precaution against downloading and clicking irrelevant stuff should be avoided at your end.
- Malware-infected links may direct you to such a site that receives your personal information. Therefore skeptical emails and attachments one is not expecting should be avoided to prevent ransomware. Your personal credentials should never be handed over through email.
- Ransomware attackers use pop-up windows to infect you with malware so to best avoid ransomware you may close the window with a keyboard command or by clicking on your taskbar and should never click on it directly.
What to do if you get infected?
- Once your device has been hit with ransomware, you may take it to data recovery specialist for ransomware removal but mostly the results are not successful.
- When you ascertain that your device has been hit by ransomware so better not make payments and share data via the same device as you will only be filling the pockets of an attacker with money.
- For ransomware removal, you should try free Ransomware Decryption Tools that will help you decrypt the files encrypted with ransomware.
Ransomware resulted in coercion upon the global village, and disrupting this era of theft is in our hands. Cyber criminals send phishing emails to lure their prey, they try their utmost to avoid detection and alert their victim of being infected. And once the ransomware has completed the file-encryption, the attackers sprang out of nowhere and ask for ransom.
But the crucial thing to be noticed is that cybercriminals have access only to the data and security that you serve them with. Therefore, to stay safe and secure you should always opt for a backup and hence prevent ransomware.