Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the data on a computer or mobile device, making it inaccessible to the user until a ransom is paid.
The ransomware typically demands payment in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in order to release the encrypted data.
How Does Ransomware Work?
After the encryption is complete, the ransomware will leave a ransom note (often referred to as a payment page).
Ransomware attacks can also happen without any action on behalf of the victim, such as through malvertising campaigns, which attempt to install ransomware on users’ machines by exploiting vulnerabilities in web browsers or their plugins.
Video Explanation What is Ransomeware?
One of the most famous malvertising attacks was the 2015 Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center attack, where a malicious advertisement that appeared on the hospital’s website instructed visitors to install a program that would supposedly protect them from a virus. In reality, this software was ransomware and it encrypted all of the data held on the hospital’s servers.
In addition, attackers have been known to lock hospital systems in order to hold them, hostage, so that they can demand a ransom in exchange for regaining access. It is important to note that these types of attacks are not caused by the hospitals’ software or IT teams, but rather through ransomware infections on computers connected to their networks.
How Ransomeware is spread?
Ransomware is often delivered via an email attachment that looks like a legitimate document. The person opening the document is prompted to enable macros that will run a self-extracting executable file, which downloads and installs ransomware onto the device.
Some Ransomware Prevention Tips:
Be wary of suspicious emails, texts, or calls claiming your computer has been locked by law enforcement for watching pornography, having pirated software, or other illegal activity on your computer this is one of the most common ways ransomware gets into the user’s devices.
Never open an email attachment you were not expecting to receive with important content inside. If it’s something you weren’t expecting, check with the sender before you open it – do not keep it on your device.
Having a good, reliable anti-virus and anti-malware program installed can help guard against ransomware attacks. It’s also a good idea to implement security measures such as software restriction policies using AppLocker.
These tools can allow you to block executables from running when they are located in certain folders, which may prevent ransomware from running when attempting to encrypt your data files. If you have been infected with ransomware, it is also very important that you add an exclusion for any newly generated executable files so that these will no longer be blocked in the future.
If you believe that your computer has been infected with ransomware, disconnect it from the network immediately and contact your IT department or local computer support specialist for help. Do not pay the ransom if possible, as there is no guarantee that you will actually get your files back.
This post was originally published on 27, December 2021, but according to new information stuff, this post is updated frequently.