Ransomware: What is it? Am I vulnerable?

 

     We all know those action packed movies from Hollywood with kidnappers waiting at the school entrance for a rich kid to finish classes and as soon as he exits they snatch him against his will, throw him in the van and part leaving only smoke behind.

     After a while at Mr Rich Dad’s mansion the land line phone rings and on the other end is a robotic voice saying “If you want to see him again you must send 10 million dollars to this account in 2 hours?”

Well, today it can happen to you. Not YOU per say but your computer. I introduce to you…The Ransomware

 

     Ransomware is a malware type, it was also called Cryptolocker when it was first introduced in 2013. Once you’re infected it encrypts your data, a message pops up on your screen with some text, a bitcoin address and a time limit in which you have to send the atacker “ransom” money in order to receive the deactivation key or else when the timer goes down…all your files are gone.

The following is a full video example…

     There are a couple of Ransomware types and every one of them have different behaviours. Steve Zurier mentions a few of them:


7 Scary Ransomware Families


As the season of evil witches, ghosts, goblins, and ghouls approaches, it’s time to be on guard. But security managers face scary prospects year-round, especially as new strains of ransomware escalate. And ransomware variants are getting more pervasive – and creepier – than ever.


The FBI says that from Jan. 1, 2016 to June 30, 1,308 ransomware complaints have been reported, totaling $2,685,274 in losses. And it appears that the ransomware “business” will continue to…Read more

     Well that’s scary isn’t it? But don’t worry, thanks to the “good guys” the movie always ends well in the favor of the protagonist. Aside from giving the ransom money there are other solutions to rescue your data like periodicaly making backups on a external Hard-Disk.

Also changing your internet habbits: check received links before clicking on them; have some decent software instaled; avoid visiting shady websites and don’t download anything from emails that you don’t recognize. Ryan Olson the author of the next post I’m about to show did a great job in showing the conditions in which you may get infected and how to prevent it.


Black Hat Europe 2016: What’s Next For Ransomware & How To Prevent It


Ransomware has existed in various forms for decades, but in the last three years, cybercriminals have perfected its key components. Here’s what you need to know now. To execute a successful ransomware attack, an adversary must be able to do the following:


· Take control of a system or device


· Prevent the owner of the controlled device from accessing it, either partially or completely


· Alert the owner that the device has been held for ransom, indicating the method and amount to be paid


· Accept payment from the device owner.


· Return full access to the device owner after payment has been received.


·Read more


Let’s evaluate what we now know:

  • What is a Ransomware
  • Some different types
  • It’s purpose
  • Precautions techniques
  • How you could get infected
  • How to remain protected

In the end, regardless of what these cyber-crooks bring to the table and what intention they have there is always a solution. Always stay informed and remain cautious while surfing the internet.

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