Ransomware malware encrypts the organization or individual data for extorting ransom amount from the victim. The malicious code is used by cybercriminals for launching data kidnapping or to lock the screen. Monetary extortion is the main motive of ransomware attacks. Unlike the other types of cyber-attacks, the victim here is notified about the exploitation and occurrence of the event. To get the recovery code payment is demanded from the victim in the virtual currency. Virtual currency is used to protect the criminal’s identity.
E-mail attachments, infected software application, infected external storage devices and compromised websites are the modes of spreading Ransomware malware. Once the malware infects a system it may change the victim’s login credentials, attack the data stored, and encrypt the files on the infected device or the connected network devices.
Ransomware has evolved from sneaker-net roots by leveraging on Internet and email to spread themselves across the end users. However, still, they follow the predictable script for entering the networks via phishing encryption attacks of files. The Ransomware Encrypt or lock the victim operating system. Advanced encryption algorithms and locker versions infect the operating system of the organization. The Ransomware is designed to block system files and attack the victim till the extortion happens.
Numerous approaches are followed by cybercriminals to extort digital currency from their victims. Few of the methods are as follows:
- The Ransomware infected system user or victim will be notified through a pop-up message or email warning that within a particular date if the ransom demanded is not paid for the deception key. The victim’s data will be locked forever and the private key to unlock the device or decrypt files will be destroyed.
- In few instances, the victim may be duped to believe that they are subjected to an official inquiry due to unlicensed software or illegal web content found on their computer. Thus, the extortion of money happens by instructing the victims to pay an electronic fine.
- The Cybercriminal encrypts few files on the infected victim’s devices and demand for money by offering a product that will help them to unlock the files and prevent future malware attacks.
- Ransomware is also sent via email attachments when the victim clicks on the link or the extensions of the cyber-attack attachment is clicked, immediately the ware install themselves on the user system and cause damage to the data.
One can protect their system against ransomware attacks and other types of cyber extortion with the help of regular backup or anti-virus software updates. The end users take a per-caution to not to click on the links in emails or website that appear to be strange. Since the ransomware attacks are nearly impossible to stop, data protection measures by individuals and organizations is the best way for protecting the system from the damage and quick recovery is also as possible.
Ransomware variants will appear on regular basis, security software must be up to date to protect the system. The frequent Software update includes patch files for security vulnerabilities that protect the system from ransomware attackers. Data backup is the most effective way of combating ransomware infection. Cyber-attackers leverage on the victims system and encrypt the valuable files. The backup copies help the victim to the restore their files if they get infected.
The essential precaution and protections form Ransomware:
- Victims of Ransomware need not panic and pay the ransom immediately. Once you pay the Cyber attackers, they will make you pay for your files again and again. They try to keep you hooked for regular payment. Try to always backup of your files and keep the anti-virus updated instead of paying money to crooks.
- Never click on attachments in email since there are numerous cyber-attackers running ransomware scams are active online always. Different tricks are followed to infect your system and data. The spams emails that say you have won the prize or you have surprise package for you that couldn’t be delivered, sometimes attractive screensaver that are sent so that you can install it on your system are popular tools used by cyber attackers.
- Do always keep your software up to date and back up your files on daily basis. Never let your irregular updates affect your PC, as irregularities in software update makes your system vulnerable for exploitation.
- Keep your anti wares active as they protect the system 24/7 against the malware threats.