Read a news on Economic Times that Ransomware attacked 180 Indian Companies. Ransomware, globally caused companies a loss of a whopping $3 billion. It has been also mentioned that in total, 79 new ransomware families were identified in the first six months of the year, which surpasses the total number of new families found in all of 2015.
Looking at these shocking number and being into IT Security domain since last 17 years we decided to create awareness about Ransomware. Prevention is better than cure and our aim is to help you to take preventive actions
We will be covering :
- What is Ransomware? How is it different from other malware?
- How Ransomwares infect your system?
- What are the different types of Ransomwares ?
- Why we cant get hold of attackers?
- How do we protect ourselves against Ransomwares?
1. What is Ransomware?How is it different from other malware?
Ransomware is a malware that locks your files, documents and applications, and demands cash from you if you need to get those files or apps back.
Other malwares, like viruses, trojan horses etc, corrupt the system or steal some sensitive data, but rarely get any monetary benefit.Unlike other malware, Ransomware locks your system, files and apps, and demands money providing monetary benefit to hackers.
2. How Ransomwares infect your system?
Earlier ransomware were to a great extent prevalent in Russia, contaminating a huge number of computer systems. These sort of malware are harder to distinguish
- Most of them can enter your system through files of already infected system, email attachments or from already existing malware.
- It may not start infecting your system immediately.
- It remains in hidden stage initially.During this period, it copies all your files into encrypted copies and deletes the originals.
- If it encrypts your files, you cant access that file. You are left with files but cant open any.
- After encrypting all files it will notify you about its presence. It will show you a message to pay a certain amount of money in the form of bitcoins.Bitcoins are a cyber-currency that are very difficult to be traced to the receiver.
- This leaves you in complete mess of loosing files.
3. What are the different types of Ransomwares?
Ransomwares are classified as :
Encrypting ransomwares are those who encrypt the files, apps of your system and demand a ransom to un-encrypt them. Usually encryption is done using a algorithm that may take several years to break them. So only way user can get his files back by giving the ransom amount and getting the unlock key. This is the most harmful ransomware.
Non-encrypting one doesn’t encrypt files, but rather blocks access to them and shows irritating messages when you try to access them. This is a less harmful ransomwares and the user can easily get rid of them by taking backup of important files and installing the operating system again.
Example of such Ransomwares are : Zepto, CryptoLocker,Locky etc.
4. Why we cant get hold of attackers?
Most of the ransomwares originates from Russia. While these people do demand cash, but the payment is in form of bitcoins, crypto-currency known for its anonymity and not leaving any traces.
5. How do we protect ourselves against Ransomwares?
Few preventive tips are:
- Have a backup of all your files
- Pay attention to your PC’s behavior.
- Avoid shady sites and have a good anti-virus program.
- Be careful when opening new e-mails from unknown senders.
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