Ransomware is the most sophisticated malware program. It locks out a user’s system, demands ransom, uses FBI’s logo and so on. We have been apprised with these facts till now. But there is much that this malware holds. It would be no exaggeration if we call this malware program a mystery.
Wherein, everyday a new update about Ransomware rolls out, there are still some facts that are uncharted.
Here are 10 facts about Ransomware that you need to know:
- Formulated back in late 1980s: Till now we have been assuming Ransomware as a newly born malware program. But if we thoroughly look into its history, then it is dated back in late 1980s. In the year 1989, first ever Ransomware with the name ‘AIDS’ triggered and attacked a user by claiming the expiration of a software. Much is not known about the user and the attack but it is clear that Ransomware has a ripened family.
- It travelled from Russia to US: After first emerging in Russia and Eastern Europe in 2009, ransomware has spread to Western Europe, the US and many other countries, causing high infection rates and a great deal of frustration for consumers.
- Spreads at Accelerated Pace: Ransomware is one of the strongest malware program till date. This malware is spreading at an accelerating rate. Lately, almost every day a new type of Ransomware attack was seen. For instance, Locky Ransomware attacking at hospitals while SamSam at schools and Dogspectus to the Android devices.
- It has breached highest of securities: Initially Ransomware attacks were confined to windows PC. But early this year, it went on to breach Mac security with KeyRanger Ransomware, then bombarded itself on Android phones via Dogspectus Ransomware.
- Antivirus isn’t enough for Ransomware: Ransomware has been an unbreakable program. Once a computer is infected, there isn’t much that can be done. When talking about the precautions, this should be marked that only anti-virus doesn’t work out. You need to be vigilant and proactive in order to avoid its trap.
- Decryption keys are now Available: Many researchers have pulled up their socks and are trying to save innocent users from this bullying. In this course, a few decryption keys are invented. So far, decryption keys for Locky, Petya, CryptoLocker, SamSam and for a few more Ransomware has been discovered.
- New Ransomware strains include Public Shaming: Some ransomware claims to blackmail you using your own selfies or data and threaten to publish it online.
- Adobe Flash is to blame for recent Ransomware spread: 8 of the top 10 vulnerabilities were discovered to be Flash-related
- Hackers Build a Better Mousetrap: Ransomware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. Malware can now identify a victim’s country – and therefore language – enabling hackers to make phony messages and demands more persuasive. Social engineering methods further enable attackers to cherry-pick targets for spearphishing emails. In addition, some ransomware stays dormant after spreading through networks, making it harder to identify the original source.
- During the month 68,000 computers were infected: the equivalent of 5,700 every day
How Can You Plan Ahead?
Back it up! All of your files (ones you don’t want to lose under any circumstances) need to be backed up.
This is not as simple as it sounds because hardware which is connected to your computer at the time of an attack will also be damaged, so a memory stick you leave plugged in all day is not the best option.
Instead choose an external hard drive that is not left connected to your device, this will also give you more room to store your data as external hard drives have a much larger storage capacity than most memory sticks or disks. This can then be used to restore your system should an attack take place, only after a full clean-up has been done of your system by yourself or your IT support team.
Another option is to take advantage of the new cloud technologies which will keep your data safe without incurring a large cost for additional hardware.