What is Ransomware ?
Ransomware is a kind of computer program which is designed to prevent user access to the computer till a certain amount of money is paid. This amount of money is paid to creators of the Ransomware program. However, paying that amount of money still does not ensure your data to be safe or protected. Many times, even after paying for the access, it has been found that user data has been lost or stolen. Paying even doesn't ensure that you can ever gain your computer access or stored data back.
What is the Payment Method ?
Once your Computer has been attacked by a Ransomware, you are forced to pay a sufficiently large amount to programmers. This amount is collected in Bitcoin because of the anonymity it offers. Therefore, it is never advisable to pay to Ransomware for access to your system. Instead, get help of cyber security experts which will help you in recovering access and data.
A Recent Ransomware Attack : WannaCry101
Ransomwares are becoming more and more popular for cybercriminals these days. You must have heard of WannaCry101 Ransomware attack. This was a really massive ransomware attack affecting more than 2,20,000 devices across 150 countries. And, 20 percent of companies which paid for WannaCry ransomware never got their data back.
Wannacry was a crypto worm which propagated using Eternal Blue, an exploit of Windows' Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
Ransomware as a Service
Nowadays, there is a rising trend in the ransom world which is Ransomware as a service. Interested CyberCriminals can just pay a subscription free to developers of the ransom for access to the necessary tools. These ransomwares can affect Desktop computer, Laptops, Server and even smartphones.
How to protect yourself from Ransom Attacks ?
While these steps still not ensure that you're completely protected, we have got some tips to help you out. You can still be far away from Ransom attacks and there is very less chance that a Ransomware will affect you.
- Stay Updated : Keep your OS updated whether it be your PC, Mac, Smartphone or any other device. Stick to regular security updates.
- Never Use Malicious Websites : Stay away from websites which deliver illegal content and hacking tools. Instead of providing you hacking tools, they can leave you up to a Ransomware attack.
- Keep your Antivirus Program updated : If you are a windows user, never ignore a Windows Defender Update notification.
- Start learning CyberSecurity basics : For a better digital life and for being safe over the Internet, you need to keep yourself updated. You need to stay aware with the vulnerabilities and other security problems. You can regularly visit Microsoft Safety and Security letters and subscribe to Microsoft Security Newsletters for learning more.
- Stay away from Spam Emails : Most of the times such worms and viruses affect your PC when you access a SPAM email or attachment. You need to carefully look into the Junk Folder or better stay away from it.
Ransomware is very dangerous when it comes to your important data. For example, if a healthcare service is affected by Ransom, losing data of patients can be hazardous for medical research and treatments. This can also threaten the lives of the patients. Similarly, Financial data can also be compromised at large scale using ransomwares. About 54% companies in United States faced Ransomware attacks. About 70% of organizations paid for Ransom. Remember, always learn to fight against crime and never support it by giving them money. Even a single Bitcoin paid to them costs the whole world.