Ransomware – the malicious software developed by Cryptovirology has been doing rounds for quite some time now. It hacks the user’s data and prevents him/her from accessing their system and limiting access to the files unless the demanded ransom is paid. The year 2017 is by far concluded to be the worst year with the worst ransomware attacks experienced by many all over the world. From the individuals to companies, and government organisations, none of the sectors were untouched by ransomware attacks that put the user’s/public’s data to risk.
Ransom malware is believed to have been developed in the late 1980s. And to bring to your notice, the ransomware authors can infect your computer in various ways. Two most common methods known to the world are Malspan and Malvertising.
- Malspam: An unsolicited email with booby-trapped attachments – PDFs, and Word Documents to deliver the malware. It is a malicious spam that heavily uses social engineering to trick the users into opening the message just to end up paying huge ransoms in order to get the locked data back from their system.
- Malvertising: Gained enough popularity in 2016, malvertising is an advanced malicious advertising that troubles the users through online advertising. It requires a little to no user interaction. No matter how legitimate the site may be, malvertising can redirect the users to criminal servers – sometimes, without even clicking on an advertisement.
Surely, these spams, if attacked your PC, can easily tap the details of your computer as well as location so as to deliver the malware best suited to snatch all your data from your system.
Worst Variants of Ransomware
Also known as WannaCrypt, this was one of the most devastating of all the ransomware attacks that have happened to affect hundreds and thousands of machines. It has turned out to be the largest ransomware outbreak to have been witnessed by the world. WannaCry attacked banks, law agencies, and even federal institutions. It mostly targeted windows operating systems that were too old to be patched and thus, the banks became the victim.
WannaCry surely created a far cry around the globe given the fact that it infested close to 300.000 computers of the world in the year 2017 alone. It encrypted the data and demanded bitcoins to release it until Microsoft developed a new patch to address this malware.
According to a recent study conducted by Proofpoint, Locky is the top payload in terms of ransom malware. It had created much chaos in 2016 while phishing email attack vector for the exploitation. Diablo and Lukitus are the new ransomware strains to use the same strategy for attacking the systems.
What started out as a Ukrainian Tax Software update, NotPetya ended up infecting numerous computers in 100 countries in a short span of time. It led to making the big companies and even individuals shell out huge sums of money just to restore their data, for the ransomware data recovery.
Around 200 master keys have been implemented to help the users decrypt and unlock the data locked by this extremely malicious software. CrySiS ransom malware spread due to the hacking into remote desktop services and installing the malware manually. It’s one of the most dangerous Crypto-viruses that keeps changing.
Facts about Ransomware
Cybercriminals will find out ways to get you to compromise on your data. Regardless of all that has been done, ransomware continues to dominate the world of security. Here are five facts about ransomware that can help you make better decisions when it comes to protecting your system’s data:
- Ransomware hits a company every 40 seconds.
- 15 per cent or more businesses of the top 10 industrial sectors have experienced the ransomware attack in the past few years.
- Ransomware attackers have now started focusing on customized attacks like email campaigns.
- These attacks are bypassing the traditional security solutions, which is why the companies are now taking to machine learning and behavioural analytics to prevent ransomware during the runtime itself.
- 75 per cent of attacks infects at least three to four employees in an organisation. More so, it has been estimated that 1 in 5 businesses that paid the ransom never got their files back. And the fact applies to the individuals as well.
How Does Ransom Malware infects your PC?
- Ransomware is quite often spread through:
- Phishing emails containing malicious attachments.
- Drives – when you try to download these attachments.
- Social media like web-based instant messaging applications/vulnerable web services.
What to do if you experience a Ransomware attack?
It can be quite scary to find your computer infected by a ransomware. However, you do not have to panic rather, weighing the options available has to be your first consideration.
The security experts will always advise against paying the ransom and also, decrypting the data on your own. Ransomware data recovery should be better left with the reliable data recovery or computer professionals who are familiar with terminologies. Having said that, you might as well find various DIY decryption tools on the internet for the older malware variants, but what if you are stuck with an advanced ransomware attack? A small mistake can have you lose your data forever!
This is the reason why you should reach out to the data recovery specialists like Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery to successfully retrieve the data lost due to a cyber-attack. With a team of qualified and extensively experienced professionals who carry the necessary data recovery tools, Stellar can help you resolve the painful ransomware issue without a hassle.
How can you prevent Ransomware Attacks?
- Do not encourage the cybercriminals by paying them the ransom.
- Try restoring the impacted files through a good backup.
- Phishers will try to trick you into installing the malware. Abstain from providing personal information on emails, or unsolicited phone calls.
- Always keep your system safe and sound – make use of the best antivirus software or a firewall available and used by many.
- Employing content scanning and filtering on the mail servers can help you eradicate cyber threats.
- Maintain your system as well as the software installed on it. Patching of vulnerable software at alternate intervals can save you from experiencing a ransomware attack.
- Ensure you are only using a trusted VPN – Virtual Private Network especially while using a public wireless internet.
As a matter of fact, ransomware criminals aim at attacking the small and medium-sized businesses, and wealthy individuals who often participate in various things online/over the internet and barely hesitate to shell out money. Taking some precautionary measures and by being alert at all times when weeding through the emails can help you prevent ransomware attack.
In case you have lost your data due to a ransomware attack, rush to the best data recovery service providers like Stellar Data Recovery who will not just help you decrypt all your data and restore them, but minimise the risks from malware attacks as well. Stellar Windows Data Recovery Software is yet another great way to safely recover most of the original files encrypted by WannaCry Ransomware.