Ransomware is big money for cybercriminals, and a lot of people are just waiting to become a victim while there are some easy tips, tricks and guides that allow you to make it extremely difficult for these cybercriminals to exploit you with a ransomware virus.
The first question we should ask ourselves is ‘what is ransomware?’ – Because if we do not know what we are up against, we will not be able to effectively protect ourselves against the ransomware threat.
So what is ransomware?
Well, ransomware is malware that has been developed with one main goal, and that is to ensure that the victim will pay up a specific amount of money in order to get something back. Ransomware will try to lock your files with encryption.
The encryption will disallow you to open or view your files, instead it will force you to pay up a specific amount of money, so you can regain access to the locked files.
Time windows in ransomware
Some of the ransomware viruses out there use time windows for victims. They force the victims to pay within a specific time amount, if the victim does not pay, it will delete the encryption key and the files that are stored on the device. The encryption key is needed to decrypt the encrypted files.
To give you a view of the targets, we have collected a couple of ransomware attacks that made it to the news. Do keep in mind that a lot of companies choose not to share that they have been a victim of a ransomware attack.
On the 27th of June it was made public that the NASCAR racing team had become victim of the Teslacrypt ransomware. The team was forced to pay 500 dollars in order to regain access to their intellectual property.
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center
On February the 13th we published a report on the ransomware attack that had taken place at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. The medical center had become the victim of a ransomware attack and they were also forced to pay a specific amount of ransom before they would be able to regain access to their data. The medical center paid 17000 dollar to regain access.
There are various ransomware viruses out there that are after financial gain. In the list below, you can find a collection of ransomware viruses that have successfully been identified:
Ransomware removal tools
The thing with ransomware removal tools is that they only work for a specific time period. The reason behind this is that the cybercriminals and cybersecurity professionals are in a daily battle to break each other their code. Because of this cat and mouse game, the malicious code will be adjusted from time to time, forcing the security professionals to alter their ransomware removal tool code.
But do not fear – security professionals from all around the world are working on these issues on a daily basis and there are some resources which you can try to find working ransomware removal tools.
Ransomware removal kit
A while ago, we created a massive ransomware removal tools collection, we put all those tools in one zip and uploaded it to the Cyberwarzone.com server. You can find the ransomware removal tools pack here.
NoRansom by Kaspersky
The antivirus company Kaspersky has setup a full landing page for people that want to download free ransomware removal tools. Kaspersky also provides full guides on how to use their ransomware removal / decryption tools. You can find the NoRansom Kaspersky site here.
Ransomware Screen Unlocker by Trend Micro
The antivirus company Trend Micro has published a full tool for ransomware removal. They call it the ransomware Screen unlocker and it can be downloaded for free from the Trend Micro website. You can find the Trend Micro tool here.