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Ransomware is a form of malicious software , that encrypts/locks the victim’s computer system or data & then demand a ransom fee to restore access. In some cases, the ransom demand comes with a deadline if the victim doesn’t pay on time he may lost his all data.

Ransomware attacks are quit common these days. Some famous companies are also became the victim of Ransomware like Acer, FatFace, AXA etc. As per researches nearly 2400 organizations were hit by ransomware attacks in the year 2021, which costs around $20 billion.

Ransomware is one of the biggest threat to cybersecurity. Lindy Cameron, CEO of UK’s National Cyber Security Centre once said in a speech that Ransomware is the biggest cyber threat to businesses. Lindy, also warned that those businesses who never check their cyber defence are in big trouble.

Working of Ransomware

Ransomware can enter in your system by various ways but the most common way is by Phishing. Most often when you download any file or apk via spam emails. The Attacker uses various techniques of Social Engineering like download this app & earn 1000$ per day or something like that. Once you  download this file the Attacker get a complete on your system. Now the Attacker can encrypt your valuable files or lock your system & then demand a ransom fee.  

In some cases, the Attacker might claim to be a Cyberpolice officer, shutting down your system due to presence of Pornography or something like that & demanding the payment of a Fine. In such cases, there are less chances that victim report the attack to authorities.

How to Detect Ransomware

Ransomware uses a complex set of evasion techniques which makes it harder for many Antiviruses to detect. However, there are several ways to detect Ransomware which includes:

Increase in file renames

Don’t take file renames lightly. Mostly when ransomware strikes, it will result in a massive increase in file renames this is because your data is getting encrypted. So, Whenever you see your files are getting renamed always take a quick action.

Check out for known Ransomware extensions

You should monitor the known Ransomware extensions. If the extensions are found as the part of your file names, that means your computer is likely been attacked.

Famous Ransomware file extensions are

Micro, zepto, cerber, locky, axx etc.

Use GetTickCount (Windows API)

Using of GetTickCount is the another way to detect Ransomware. GetTickCount returns the number of seconds that the system has been on. You can use this API to check how long your system is running and take actions based on this value.

How to Prevent Ransomware attack

Don’t give your hard earned money to attackers. With these steps you can prevent Ransomware attacks and keep yourself & your organization safe.

Don’t ever click on unknown links:-

Avoid clicking on links that you have received from spam emails or from any other untrusted source. Attacker may use various techniques to trick you like click on this link and earn money online or fill this form & get chance to meet any Bollywood actor. If you wanna to be safe from Ransomware & other malicious attacks then do not ever believe on these fraud messages & always think twice before clicking on any link.

Don’t download any file or apk from untrusted sources:-

Always download all your apps from trusted sources (Google Play). Do not ever download any apk or file from untrusted sources because it maybe a malware or any other malicious program, which can destroy your system.

Avoid giving your Personal information out

Mostly when cybercriminals are planning a Ransomware attack, they might try to collect some personal information in advance. If you receive a call, or email from an unknown source requesting personal information, do not reply & report the number to authorities.

Don’t use open Wi-Fi

There might be a high chances of attack when you are using a public Wi-Fi. Because the attackers may steal all your data via MITM attack.  

Keep your operating system & other programs updated

Keeping the operating system & programs updated also mitigate the risk of attack, because this makes harder for an attacker to exploit vulnerabilities in an updated program.

What happens when Ransomware attacks any system?

When Ransomware attacks any system, they encrypt files or sometimes lock the system. Then it shows a screen to the victim announcing that the files are encrypted and the amount of money that must be paid to get back the encrypted data. Usually, the victim is given a specific amount of time & if the victim didn’t pay on time he may lost his all data or the ransom fee may increase.

Should you pay Ransom fee or not?

When Ransomware attacks any organization, Many people worried whether they pay ransom fee or not, my suggestion is No, because there is no guarantee that you will get back all your encrypted data & also in some cases, when victim pays the attackers a specific amount still they didn’t receive cipher keys to decrypt data. Most experts advise that you should not the ransom & report the case to authorities as soon as possible.

Ransomware authors demand for cryptocurrency payments, so the money transfer cannot be reversed & cannot be tracked, this is also the reason why you should not pay the ransom.

Summary

. Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts/locks the victim’s system or data and then demand a Ransom fee to restore access.

. Ransomware can enter in your system when you download any file or apk from unknown sources.

. You can detect Ransomware when your files are getting renamed automatically.

. You can also monitor some known ransomware file extensions & if these file extensions are found as a part of your file name that means your system is effected by Ransomware.

. You should not download any file or apk from unknown sources & always keep your system updated this will mitigate the risk of Ransomware attack.

. You shouldn’t pay ransom fee to the attacker because there is no guarantee that you will get your data back.

. Ransomware usually comes with a deadline if the victim doesn’t pay on time he may lost his all data or ransom increases.

Ransomware Explained: Definition, Working, Detection & more

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