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What is Ransomware?


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What is ransomware?

 

Ransomware is a type of malware, or malicious software, which blocks a computer or encrypts files (Cryptolocker). Only when you pay a random amount of money, you would be able to get a key for access to your computer and files again.

 

 

How to recognize Ransomware?

 

*Directly visible: access to the PC is locked. It will block the PC or browser.

*Payment: You will be asked to pay an amount of money in a message pop up demanding payment usually in an anonymous currency like Bitcoins.

-Infection generally occurs via infected files, such as e-mail attachment, or via a leak in non- updated software.

-Paying is meaningless (PC often cannot be unblocked by the criminals).

-The virus can be removed without data loss.

 

 

How to recognize Cryptolocker?

 

* Encrypting: files can be encrypted which means that the files cannot be opened or even the whole system can be encrypted where the computer cannot be booted anymore.

*Payment: payment is asked by an untraceable currency like Bitcoin.

- Infection generally occurs via malicious files, for example in an e-mail attachment or through a leak on the PC by non-updated software.

- Paying is not recommended, but may be a last resort.

- The encryption is rarely to undo without a key.

- Cryptolocker can also infect files on attached external hard drives or network that has a drive letter in Windows Explorer (such as E :, F :, G :). Keep a backup therefore separated from the PC.

 

 

 

How do you get infected with Ransomware?

 

The most common way is that the ransomware is spread by malicious email links, email attachments, advertisements or (illegal) downloads. Ransomware can also be bundled in all kinds of applications and games. The file you download is usually an executable (.exe). Even text or photos might seem normal in first place .jpeg, but if you see the extensions it might actually say .jpeg.exe.

 

Another way ransomware can enter your computer is through programs already installed on your PC but this is only possible if there is a leak in the software installed on your PC. For example, the browser, Flash or JavaScript. So it is highly recommended that you keep your software always up-to-date.

 

 

 

How to avoid being infected?

 

- It is important to make frequent backups for example in a cloud or an offline storage medium.

- Keep your anti-malware software IObit Malware Fighter automatically updated.

- Keep all software like your operating systems, browser, browser additions (like Adobe Flash) and popular programs (such as Adobe Reader) always updated.

- Do not open attachments and links in emails from unknown or emails that you do not trust.

- Cryptoware is often an executable .exe file, disguised as another kind of file, for example as a PDF document. By default, Windows hides the .exe addition to the file name. Learn how to show file name extensions so that the full name of the document will be shown when downloaded.

 

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Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim's files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment.

There are a number of vectors ransomware can take to access a computer. One of the most common delivery systems is phishing spam — attachments that come to the victim in an email, masquerading as a file they should trust. Once they're downloaded and opened, they can take over the victim's computer, especially if they have built-in social engineering tools that trick users into allowing administrative access. Some other, more aggressive forms of ransomware, like NotPetya, exploit security holes to infect computers without needing to trick users.

 

There are a number of defensive steps you can take to prevent ransomware infection. These steps are a of course good security practices in general, so following them improves your defenses from all sorts of attacks:

Keep your operating system patched and up-to-date to ensure you have fewer vulnerabilities to exploit.

Don't install software or give it administrative privileges unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.

Install antivirus software, which detects malicious programs like ransomware as they arrive, and whitelisting software, which prevents unauthorized applications from executing in the first place.

And, of course, back up your files, frequently and automatically! That won't stop a malware attack, but it can make the damage caused by one much less significant.

 

I hope this is helpful

 

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