“Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their systems”.
When processing the Ransomware in anyone’s system, hackers ask users to pay ransom through the online payments so that they grant access to their systems. It is one of the very critical malware which is growing insanely over the last few years, infecting the large size industry businesses as well as the small and medium size, where the attackers are targeting to fund their resources with these online payments. This sudden rise in Ransomware attacks is making a very big impact on the companies for their security and financial losses.
History of the Ransomware:
The Ransomware attacks were initially reported in Russia in May – 2005. However, since then, the use of Ransomware attacks has grown internationally where attackers are still successfully targeting the personal computers and business systems from all over the globe. According to the research conducted last year, it was found that there were 60 million unique samples of Ransomware, more than double the number it had obtained in 2014.
In late 2013, a new type of Ransomware emerged and it was dubbed as a CryptoLocker. It was a bit different from previous Ransomware. This Ransomware variant now has an ability encrypt the files, aside from locking the system. This is to ensure that users will still pay up even if the malware itself was deleted. Like previous types of Ransomware, this malware also demands payment from affected users but this time to decrypt their encrypted files.
Future of the Ransomware:
This won’t be the last year for Ransomware attacks and the attackers won’t stop performing them in the future as well. They will come up with different new forms and targets.
According to the research presented the last year, India is the fifth highest country to receive Ransomware attacks.
In 2016, the most popular malicious email campaigns were based on ransomware, typically Locky, which was deployed in more than 500 million total attacks throughout the year. No industry was spared: the mechanical and industrial engineering industry got 15% of the ransomware hits, while pharmaceuticals and financial services companies each got 13%, while real estate companies got 12%.
During the Mirai botnet surge in November, An Intenet security company “SonicWall” found that the U.S. got 70 percent of the DDoS attacks, followed by Brazil with 14 percent and India with 10 percent.
A recent “WannaCry” attack on more than 200,000 personal computers hit overall 140 countries, forcing them to make Bitcoin payments to get access to their data. It is naive to think that it couldn’t happen at this level, attackers will surely be more advanced than they ever before.
Talking about the future of Ransomware attacks, the mobile Ransomware is already becoming more common, it will surely and imminently acquire these mobile communication areas to spread their networks wider.
Will paying the ransom will actually decrypt your files?
If your system is already infected with Ransomware, chances are you paying some ransom to get access to your original files. Paying the ransom will start the decryption process of the CryptoLocker infection. When you pay the ransom you will be shown a screen stating that your payment is being verified. Reports say that this verification process can take up to 4-5 hours to complete. Once the payment has been verified, the infection will start decrypting your files.
How to prevent from Ransomware attacks:
Without having any Ransomware protection tool it’s difficult for personal computer users and business system users to recover the data unless the ransom is paid. There are few things can be done to prevent the attack before it even starts:
- Backup your files regularly (As a best practice, data should be backed up at least fortnightly).
- Scan your system regularly with trusted anti-malware.
- Download the data only from trusted websites.
- Update your anti-malware regularly for latest malware definitions and security patches.
- Make sure your firewall is on while connecting to the internet.
- Do not click on any suspicious e-mail attachments or links. (Simply, delete all spam emails or put them in the junk folder).
- Avoid sharing of folders. If sharing of folders is avoidable then put proper authentication restrictions.