THE SCARE OF RANSOMWARE

The scare of ransomware has plagued the online community for a very long time and thus, it is imperative that everyone should have some form of knowledge about this menace to privacy and accessibility of data.

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

Ransomware is a kind of malware in which the data on a victim’s computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is demanded before the locked data is decrypted and reopened for the user. The motive for ransomware attacks is nearly always monetary, and unlike other types of attacks, the victim is usually notified that an exploit has occurred and is given instructions for how to recover from the attack. Payment is often demanded in a virtual currency, such as Bitcoin, so that the cybercriminal’s identity is not known.

HOW ARE RANSOMWARE SPREAD?

Ransomware malware can be spread through malicious email attachments, infected software apps, infected external storage devices and compromised websites. Attacks have also used remote desktop protocol and other approaches that do not rely on any form of user interaction.

HOW DO RANSOMWARE ATTACKS WORK?

Ransomware building software is sold on the dark web or black-market websites and hackers buy these software and code them with specific encryption abilities. They then remake this malware for their own distribution and with ransoms paid to their virtual currency accounts.

TIPS TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM TO RANSOMWARE:

  • Do not download apps using third-party app stores (stick to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store).
  • Do not click on links you do not totally trust on your email spam folder or even inbox.
  • Avoid compressed links if possible (or decompress and see where it actually lead to before clicking).
  • Keep devices and mobile apps up to date.
  • Do not grant administrator privileges to applications unless absolutely trusted.
  • Do not click on links that appear in spam emails or in text messages from unknown sources.

All device users should also have their data backed up in a different location in the case their device is inflicted. In the worst-case scenario, this would at least ensure the data on the device won’t be lost permanently and would greatly reduce the scare of ransomware.

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