Ransomware has quickly become the most prominent and visible type of malware. Ransomware attacks affect service delivery, paralyze IT systems, and cause significant damage to various organizations. So what is ransomware after all? Join Chusa.info to find out What is Ransomware in detail below!
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that uses encryption that holds the victim’s information for ransom. Important user or organization data is encrypted so they cannot access files, databases, or applications. Then a ransom is required to provide access. Ransomware is often designed to spread across networks and target databases and file servers, which can quickly cripple an entire organization. This is a growing threat, generating billions of dollars in payments to cybercriminals and causing significant damage and costs to businesses and government entities.
How does Ransomware work?
Ransomware uses asymmetric encryption. This is a cipher that uses a key pair to encrypt and decrypt a file. A public – private key pair is generated unique to the victim by the attacker, with the private key to decrypt files stored on the attacker’s server. The attacker only gives the private key to the victim after paying the ransom, although as seen in recent ransomware campaigns, this is not always the case. Without access to the private key, it is nearly impossible to decrypt files being held for ransom.
Many variants of ransomware exist. Often ransomware (and other malware) is spread using email spam campaigns or through targeted attacks. Malware needs an attack vector to establish its presence on an endpoint. Once the presence is established, the malware remains on the system until it completes its task.
After a successful exploit, the ransomware executes a malicious binary on the infected system. This binary then searches and encrypts valuable files, such as Microsoft Word documents, images, databases, etc. Ransomware can also exploit system vulnerabilities. and networks to spread to other systems and possibly across the entire organization.
Once the files are encrypted, the ransomware prompts the user to pay a ransom within 24 to 48 hours to decrypt the files, otherwise they will be lost forever. If there is no backup of the data or that backup is encrypted, the victim faces paying a ransom to restore the personal files.
Why is ransomware spreading?
Ransomware attacks and their variants are rapidly evolving to resist containment technologies for a number of reasons:
- Easily available malware suites that can be used to generate new malware samples on demand
- Use new techniques, such as complete disk encryption instead of selected files
Today’s thieves don’t even need to be tech-savvy. Ransomware marketplaces have sprung up online, offering malware strains and generating additional profits for malware authors, who often demand a cut of the ransom.
Why is it so hard to find the ransomware culprit?
What is ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS)?
Why You Shouldn’t Pay for Ransomware
How to protect from ransomware
To avoid ransomware and minimize damage if you are attacked, follow these tips:
1. Backup your data . The best way to avoid the risk of being locked out of your important files is to make sure you always have backups of them, preferably in the cloud and on an external hard drive. This way, if you get infected with ransomware, you can wipe your computer or device and reinstall the files from the backup. This protects your data and you won’t be tempted to reward malware authors by paying a ransom. Backups won’t prevent ransomware, but it can reduce the risk.
2. Secure your backups . Make sure that your backup data is not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where it is stored. Ransomware will look for data backups and encrypt or delete them so they can’t be restored, so use backup systems that don’t allow direct access to backup files.
3. Use security software and keep it up to date . Make sure all your computers and devices are protected with comprehensive security software, and keep all your software up to date. Make sure you update your device software early and often, as patches are usually included with each update.
4. Surf the web safely . Be careful where you click. Don’t reply to emails and text messages from people you don’t know, and only download apps from trusted sources. This is important because malware authors often use social engineering to try to get you to install dangerous files.
5. Use only secure networks . Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, as many are insecure and cybercriminals can snoop on your Internet usage. Consider installing a VPN instead, a VPN that gives you a secure Internet connection no matter where you go.
6. Update information. Stay up-to-date on the latest ransomware threats so you know what to look out for. In case you are infected with ransomware and have not backed up all your files, know that some decryption tools are provided by technology companies to help victims.
7. Implement a security awareness program. Provide regular security awareness training to every member of your organization so they can avoid phishing and other social engineering attacks. Conduct drills and regular checks to ensure that training is being followed.
Ransomware in all its forms and variations poses a significant threat to both individual users and companies. This makes it all the more important to monitor the threat it poses and be prepared for any eventuality. Therefore, it is essential to learn about ransomware, be highly aware of how you use your device, and install the best security software.