Ransomware, which demands payment after launching a cyber attack, has become a rising trend among hackers looking for a quick payout. While initially popular in Russia, the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally. It is one of the world’s fastest growing types of Malware and it is as scary as it sounds. Ransomware attack puts you in a sticky situation, so it’s important to know about Ransomware protection and how to avoid it.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of Malicious Software which is designed to extort money (ransom) from the user. This cyber attack involves hackers taking control of the computer and blocking access or encrypting all the files until a ransom is paid. And it displays how and how much ransom should be paid in order to decrypt your files.
Simple ransomware may only lock the PC but more other advanced malware encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible. Paying the ransom (either through credit card or Bitcoins) however, does not guarantee that you’ll get your files back.
Types Of Ransomware
They are of two types – lockscreen and encryption ransomware.
Lockscreen ransomware shows a full-screen message that prevents you from accessing your PC or files. It says you have to pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC again.
Encryption ransomware changes your files so you can’t use them. It does this by encrypting the files.
CryptoLocker is a file-encrypting ransomware. It encrypts the personal documents found on your computer using RSA-2048 key (AES CBC 256-bit encryption algorithm). Older versions of ransomware usually claim you have done something illegal with your PC, and that you are being fined by a police force or government agency. This type of ransomware attack generally comes when visiting porn websites.
These claims are false. It is a scare tactic designed to make you pay the money without telling anyone who might be able to restore your PC.
How Ransomware Infects Your Computer?
The Malware can get onto your computer in multiple ways. It can get on your PC from nearly any source that any other malware (including viruses) can come from. These sources are: Visiting suspicious, infected or compromised website. Opening emails and email attachments or link from people you don’t know. Downloading fake or look alike softwares like Flash Player or Java OR bundled with other softwares.
Once the software is installed on your computer the hackers can launch an attack. And they will have the complete access of your computer and all it’s files. that locks all files it can find within a network. This tends to be a gradual process with files being encrypted one after another.
What does ransomware do?
Once it is installed, it locks your computer and prevent you from using your PC normally. If it is CryptoLocker, it will encrypt the hard drive. Which makes it impossible to access or retrieve anything stored on your computer – such as photographs, documents or music.
Prevent you from accessing Windows.
Encrypt files so you can’t use them.
Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser or security softwares)
After locking or encypting it will show you a message like the one show below. In the message Ransomware will demand that you pay a ransom to get access to your PC or files. There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing what the ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again.