Cybercrime has increased recently, it could be large-scale data breaches, stolen credit card accounts, account hacks etc., which have made huge losses to organizations or users. So to avoid this organizations are implementing various security measures to harden the security and that could be the 2-Step Authentication for your accounts or use of machine learning to detect suspicious activity on your account. But recently cyber criminals are using new ways or tools to earn money and one of them is ransomware.
Whether it is a ransomware or any other malware, it’s really bad for you and your data. There has been so many incidents reported recently where the data being compromised/encrypted because of ransomware.
Before proceeding further, we need to understand What is ransomware? How it can make your valuable data worthless and How you can avoid all this happening?
Ransomware is a Malware or a type of Malware which can lock your computer, or prevent you from accessing it. It may encrypt the data on your computer system or on smart phones and prevent you from accessing it, until you pay the requested money or ransom.
There are different types of Ransomware’s but basically all blocks you from accessing your data or your device, It may in the form of blocking web browsers or encrypting data or preventing access to your device.
The recent attack at Maryland’s MedStar Health hospital network is one of the examples how criminals are using it to earn easy money. It is difficult to track these criminals as money is asked of them in the form of BitCoins which is decentralized currency and offers anonymity. Moreover, such recent attacks are not only on desktop computers but on Android phones as well, which has been increased four times in a last year as per study published by Kaspersky.
As per study the countries which experienced more rise in Android ransomware attacks are the United States, Canada, Germany and United Kingdom, where attacks were mostly in the form of screen blockers. Screen blockers don’t encrypt data on Android phones as Android Operating System prevent third-party apps from accessing user’s files which will be further improved in the next version, Android Nougat.
How you avoid getting being infected by Ransomware Malware?
- I would say that get latest antivirus or security software to save yourself from being getting infected, but recently all popular anti-virus software’s have remained inefficient in blocking this crpto-malware
- Don’t click on any link in the email from unknown addresses as well as on the social networks or in chat boxes
- Avoid visiting suspicious or fake websites where there is more risk
- Always take backup of your data at offline storage or make hard copies of your data so that in case your data is compromised, you can access your data without paying the money
- For smartphones always install applications from Google Play Store or Apple App Store and check what permissions app is asking for and does it really need those permissions
What to do If you’re already affected by Ransomware?
- In case of Smart phones the money asked is maybe $100 approximately but it is recommended that you should not pay this money because it will increase the confidence of criminals. The reason behind this is that your data is not affected and you can access your phone by doing hard reset or sometimes just by restarting or removing and reinserting the battery
- If your data is encrypted then you can look online for decryption keys or tools to decrypt your data else there is no option left for you except paying for your data because even supercomputers will take years to decrypt that data or leave it if you think your data is not that important.
Please leave your comments below if you think there are more ways to avoid being get infected from this malware.