Ransomware has been the biggest threat to Private Business Organizations, Government Organizations and even individuals. Do you remember WannaCry? In May, 2017, WannaCry Ransomware targeted Computers running Microsoft Operating System. WannaCry ransomware spread through an exploit developed by National Security Agency (NSA) named Eternal Blue.
Ransomware was first developed in late 1980s, which was known as PC Cyborg. Over time Cyber Criminals getting more creative and they are creating more dangerous and sophisticated Ransomware.
According to a report published in 2017, Ransomware attack on Business was increased from one attack every two minutes in Q1 to one every 40 seconds by Q3. As per Wikipedia, “Starting from around 2012 the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally. There were 181.5 million ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2018. This marks a 229% increase over this same time frame in 2017”. So we should take preventive measures to stay safe from ransomware attacks. Today we will discuss about, what is Ransomware? How it works? And how to stay safe.
What is Ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, we can say a type of malware. If Ransomware infiltrates your computer, then it will either display you a popup, or will lock your computer interface or encrypt your data and demands money to decrypt your files. Now a day’s ransomware uses advanced cryptoviral extortion technique to encrypt files, making it more impossible to decrypt the files.
Types of Ransomware
Ransomwares are of two types CRYPTO Ransomware, LOCKER Ransomware.
If CRYPTO Ransomware infiltrates your computer, it will encrypt your computers data, will block access to the encrypted files. Unless you make payment to the Ransomware author, you will not be able to decrypt files.
If Locker Ransomware infiltrates your computer, it will lock your computer interface. Basically Locker Ransoware doesn’t encrypt your files; it will only Lock your computer interface.
Some Popular Ransomware
WannaCry ransomware attacked more than than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. WannaCry Ransomware authors were demanding $300 – $600 by bitcoin.
Cerber Ransomware encrypts various file types including .jpg, .doc, .avi etc. Cerber adds a .cerber, .cerber2 or cerber3 extensions to encrypted files.
GoldenEye Ransomware is distributed using malvertising spam (malspam) emails. GoldenEye ransomware is a combination of Petya Ransomware and MISCHA ransomware.
Jigsaw Ransomware was created in 2016. It was first released with the title BitcoinBlackmailer. This ransomware spreads through malicious spam emails.
Locky Ransomware was created in 2016. It was spread through spam emails with a Microsoft Word Document attachment that contains malicious macros.
How does Ransomware spread : –
Ransomware spread though malicious spam emails. This contains malicious links or malicious attachments. If you click the link, your will redirect to a malicious website and you will get infected by ransomware by visiting those malicious websites. Malicious emails can also contain malicious attachments. If you download these attachments you may get infected with ransomware.
Ransomware can also spread through malvertising. Malvertising campaign = malicious advertising campaign. You may get infected by ransomware through malvertising campaign, even you don’t have to click any malicious advertising links, malvertising campaign can infect you without clicking the malicious links.
How to stay safe: –
1. Update your Operating System frequently: – Make sure your operating system is updated. Many ransomware uses old operating vulnerability to target your device. So to stay safe from ransomware you should install updates on your computer.
2. Avoid obsolete software: –Besides updating operating system, you should also update your computer applications.
3. Back up your computer data every day: – If ransomware infiltrates your computer it may encrypt your files. So to stay safe from Ransomware, make a habit to take back up of your computer every day. This habit not only protects you from ransomware attack, but also keeps your data safe, in case of data loss or damage.
4. Install a reputed anti-virus: –You should consider installing a reputed anti-virus on your machine. This not only protects you from ransomware attack, but also from latest emerging threats.
Lastly, if you get infected with ransomware, never pay to Cyber Criminals. Paying to Cyber Criminal encourage them to make more harm in near future.