What is Ransomware attack?

Cyber Security

There are several types of computer security threats identified today such as Trojans, Virus, Adware, Malware, Rootkit, hackers and much more. One thing surfaced recently is another type of threat called Ransomware. But it is not new.

The main difference between protection and security is that the protection focuses on internal threats in a computer system while security focuses on external threats to a computer system.

What is Ransomware and how does it work?

The concept behind ransomware is quite simple; Lock and encrypt a victim’s computer data, then demand a ransom to restore access. Most ransomware variants encrypt the files on the affected computer, making them inaccessible, and demand a ransom payment to restore access.

Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.

Wikipedia.org

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How does Ransomware infect a computer?

Ransomware mainly spread using two methods. It is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.

Is Ransomware a virus?

No. Viruses infect your files or software and have the ability to replicate, but Ransomware is malicious software which encrypts files on your computer or completely locks you out, and demands you pay a ransom.

Malware vs. Viruses – What’s the Difference?

The terms “virus” and “malware” are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different. Malware is a catch-all term for any type of malicious software. on the other hand, A virus is a specific type of malware that self-replicates by inserting its code into other programs.

What are the two types of ransomware?

There are mainly two basic types of ransomware in circulation. That is crypto-ransomware and locker ransomware. The most common type today is crypto-ransomware, which aims to encrypt personal data and files. The second type, known as locker ransomware, is designed to lock the computer, preventing victims from using it.

Does Ransomware affect Cloud storage?

Cloud storage is not an exception neither immune to Ransomware threats. Especially when Cloud storage vendors do not use anti-ransomware technology. In short, all devices connected with the internet is prone to this threat. Many maintain backup versions allowing you to “roll back” to the unencrypted form. Some products protect backup from ransomware by filtering out malware from getting into backups.

Can Ransomware infect Google Drive?

It’s not about whether Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox. Backup methods using real-time synchronization is vulnerable for Ransomware, as all infected files will be mirrored by the backup process in real-time. Yes, Ransomware can spread to G Suite data, particularly if you use the Google Drive sync capability.

Can Ransomware be removed?

Yes and No. If you find the simplest form of Ransomware like a fake clean-up tool, you simply get rid of it by using an anti-malware tool. But, if the infection is deep, you cannot decrypt encrypted files without using the respective private key. The best advice is to prevent it rather than finding solutions to clean the infection.

Dos and Don’ts of Ransomware

Ransomware is a profitable market for Cyber-criminals and unable to stop completely. But you could be able to minimize their success by following a few simple Dos and Don’ts.

Do

  • Use security Software and keep them up-to-date
  • Update your Operating System
  • Keep your browser updated
  • Keep all other Software up-to-date
  • Backup important data into an external Hard disk
  • Use Cloud services with Version and Roll-back option.

Don’t

  • Don’t open suspicious emails and attachments
  • Don’t enable unknown macros to run
  • Don’t use pirated or unlicensed software
  • Don’t use unsecured free VPNs
  • Don’t accept or invite unknown people online
  • Don’t pay Ransom. Cannot ensure you will get back your file. Cyber-criminals might attack repeatedly

While computers evolved to become a part of our day to day lives, so did the threats. Security and protection is the price we all have to pay for using technology. But this is not unique only for this field.

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