What’s ransomware?

what's ransomware?

One of the leading online threats we face today is ransomware. So much so, tech security companies continue to develop newer cybersecurity measures meant to prevent digital attacks. Ransomware removal can be a tedious process, not to mention traumatic, too. But what’s ransomware, exactly?

Ransomware

At its core, ransomware is a malware type that’s designed to encrypt a user’s data. Only when a ransom is paid for will victims be given the decryption key to gain access to their computing device again. Still, there isn’t a solid guarantee that one can control their computer again if a ransom is paid for. This is precisely why it’s a growing threat. It’s stressful, damaging, and very much a potent form of thievery.

What’s ransomware have to do with phishing?

“What’s ransomware got to do with spam emails,” you ask? A lot.

Like human viruses, ransomware also continues to evolve. At present, ransomware variants continue to increase, but their transmission has mostly been the same. Spam emails are the number one gateway to ransomware.

An unsuspecting user could download and attachment or click a shady link, and immediately ransomware can find its way to a system. While older versions of the malware require administrative access, more sophisticated versions of the malware no longer need a user to permit it. Many times, ransomware immediately encrypts your data and locks you out of it.

Apart from emails, other ways ransomware can spread is through public wi-fi connections, and fishy USB drives. In comparison, this isn’t the only way, how to prevent ransomware also mostly dependent on how careful you are with your computer.

what's ransomware?

This is why when we ask the question, “what’s ransomware?” We should also consider how else we can better protect our laptops and PCs and assess if our current computing activities leave room for ransomware attacks.

How to prevent ransomware

What’s ransomware’s best defense? A lot. How to prevent ransomware doesn’t stop with common sense. Over are the days when one just had to be extra careful to make sure viruses don’t infect their computer. Here are great tips to remember to make sure you never have to worry about ransomware removal:

● First of all, always backup your data. The number one reason why ransomware is extra stressful to a lot of organizations is that their access to valuable and sensitive data is found only on their computers. When you run a business or lead a team, make sure the data you need can be accessed via cloud services. If not, always store data in other hard drives. That way, when a ransomware attack ensues, you’re better prepared for the situation. And while, obviously, not desirable, you never have to give in to a ransomware author by paying a fee. It’s also much more comfortable and quicker to wipe out your entire system’s memory than negotiating to a digital fraudster. Furthermore, never forget to secure your backup, too. The more your files are accounted for. The easier it will be to gain what you lose if you lose them.

● Sign up with a credible cybersecurity program. When your computers are protected by reliable antivirus or anti-ransomware applications, malware attacks will be a thing of the past for you. For instance, Comodo Cybersecurity has great reviews and advanced security technology to ensure your computing devices are never left vulnerable and susceptible to digital attacks. It also helps that Comodo Cybersecurity is one of the most affordable security brands around!

● Be a responsible internet surfer! While this may seem like common sense, never reply to people you shady emails and text messages that demand your personal details. Before downloading files and attachments, make sure you know who the sender is first, too. Malware authors can easily disguise themselves and oftentimes even come up with safe-looking content. Always be on your guard!

● How is malware able to access my device, and what’s ransomware have to do with my internet connection? As mentioned earlier, this malware type continues to evolve. Avoid using public wi-fi connections when possible. Because not many of them are designed to prioritize a user’s safety in mind, cybercriminals can easily hack into a system and gather your details. Once they do, they can use this against you if they hack your computer.

Looking for reliable and award-winning computer protection? Contact Comodo Cybersecurity today!

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How to avoid ransomware

How to avoid ransomware

Malicious software or malware has been rampant as technology blossomed in the 20th century. Just as technology integrated itself in the daily lives of people, making it an indispensable tool, malware has also made headway in creating ways to spoil this step to progress into making itself one of the leading ways people can be conned out of their money.

Ransomware protection through different apps and services has become as essential as having insurance. It pays, then, to know ransomware examples to know how to avoid ransomware that you might fall victim to.

How to avoid ransomware

There are a few things to look out for to avoid this nefarious scheme. Since most of the cases were attributed to lack of security or having poor security in place in the victim’s system as being the common factor, it’s safe to say that putting up ransomware protection is the number one priority. Should you fall into one of the ransomware examples or categories, here are some tips on what you can do:

  • As prevention, you should back up your files on an external hard drive or a cloud space. In this way, all essential data that you might lose to an online attack can remain intact and accessible. It also ensures that private files or folders are away from the prying claws of ill repute operators. Many free online cloud services allow you to save gigabytes’ worth of files and videos. Some can even be synced on your devices so it automatically scrapes data on your laptops and stores it for safekeeping.
  • Another precautionary measure on how to avoid ransomware is to be mindful of where and who you share personal information. In some ransomware examples, like Bad Rabbit and Jigsaw, among many others, it may come from emails, unsolicited phone calls, text messages, or instant messages. This is called phishing. Although ransomware protection apps can easily block these, some might still slip through. You should, then, be wary of anything that asks for such things no matter who they claim to be.
  • Speaking of protective measures, another method is to have safeguards in place. Wondering “how to avoid ransomware”, the first that should come to mind is to have your devices protected. Whether you’re using your computers, tablets, or mobile phones, partnering with an efficient ransomware protector is just as important as wearing a seatbelt when driving. These apps can protect any attempt on your system by warding it off or giving you warnings to possible threats. In this way, you can avoid taxing and draining experiences. Not to mention, these anti-malware apps also provide constant scanning through your operating system and files to make sure no malware has slipped into it and cause trouble in the future. They also screen attachments on emails or block pop-ups that may sneak up on you.
  • Updating all your software and systems is also one way to protect your computer. Relevant patches that could resolve any cracks in your system ensures that your system is airtight or at least that much harder to crack. Compromised or faulty apps or systems on your computer can be the gateway to ransomware. If you want to effectively know how to avoid ransomware, this is another cost-efficient way.
  • Lastly, if knowing how to avoid ransomware is not enough and even after covering all your bases and doing everything you possibly could to safeguard your computer and other devices, run ransomware, you are highly encouraged not to pay the ransom. Doing so only empowers others to exploit this means to easy money. Moreover, paying the ransom to your files and folders does not guarantee that the hacker would return access to you. Because they know you would pay, they could also extort more money from you by browsing through the contents of your folders and threaten to expose private files for more money. It’s better to report incidents to the authorities and have them advise you on your next steps.
  • Hopefully, with all the things brushed on in this article, you are better equipped to protect yourself from this brand of online crime. Understanding how to avoid ransomware has become such a staple in these times where information, privacy, and security can be swiped from right under your nose. Even with minimal resources, any average individual can become a hacker and a criminal. Cybercrime departments in different cities have been formed to address this growing threat to the people obliviously clicking in their own homes. Building safeguards, however, the best solution in tackling any kind of malware.

For comprehensive and efficient protection, check out Comodo Cybersecurity!

How to prevent ransomware

Malicious software designed to hold a user’s data hostage has become insanely popular and rampant in the last decade specifically. More than anything, the primary intention of this software is to get money from a victim in exchange for returning their access to their computer files. And similar to other known computer viruses, it usually ends in people’s computing devices by tricking a user into having it installed or by taking advantage of a vulnerability in the system’s security hole. This is why it’s integral for us to know how to prevent ransomware.

How to prevent ransomware: who are the malware’s victims?

As it is today, ransomware removal has become emotionally and logistically taxing for plenty of groups and businesses alike. For instance, public schools, fire departments, hospitals, government agencies, and private companies are all prime targets of these ill-intentioned tech experts. This is because these organizations are more likely to pay for a ransom upfront.

To understand precisely how to prevent ransomware, we need to acknowledge that these attacks aren’t exclusive to companies and businesses only. There have been tons of stories involving individual victims who’ve had to face ransomware removal one way or another. At the end of the day, anyone can fall prey to this if they’re not careful enough. For several years now, cybercriminals have made a lucrative business out of extorting funds from others. So much so, that law enforcement officers have had to partner with international organizations to figure out certain hackers and put them behind bars.

That factored in, how to prevent ransomware takes more than just being extra careful online. While that clearly helps, there’s only so much you can do until you accidentally click on something or open an attachment. How ransomware spreads has become incredibly tricky, too, as it has evolved over time.

Understanding how to prevent ransomware

  • A lot of ransomware threats start with bad internet behaviors and the lack of protection users put on their PCs. Here are a few things to remember to assure that ransomware removal is something you’ll never have to encounter:
  • One of the first things to remember in knowing how to prevent ransomware is to never pay the ransom. Firstly, there is no guarantee that you’re gaining access to your data again. Secondly, there are other, much safer ways to retrieve what’s yours. While it may take time, you’re placed in a better position when you don’t let out money at all.
  • Always prepare backup for critical data. For example, if you have an important report, video essay, project, or a zip folder containing necessary documents, make sure to always store them elsewhere, and not only in your PC. Have a flash drive or an external hard drive ready, too. That way, when you’re unable to access your files because of a ransomware attack, you’re not too emotionally stressed out about it. 
  • Always double-check sources asking for personal information. Never provide your address or your home number to emails you’re not too acquainted with. Phishers will do everything they can to gain access to a victim’s computer. This is partly how ransomware spreads. Letting other people know intimate details about you.
  • Use a credible cybersecurity program. It’s easy to find free ones online if you’re not too careful. Download security applications or sign up only with security software providers that have great ratings from other users. Ensuring that your security software is constantly updated guarantees that fraudsters won’t be able to take advantage of security holes in your system.
  • Never immediately download or click on an email attachment unless you know it’s secure. How to prevent ransomware also largely depends on how cautious you are with what you download.
  • When you use an office laptop and you’re about to travel, let your IT department know in advance. If not, resort to a reliable VPN when connecting to public wi-fi. The last thing you’d want is to allow direct access to hackers to your laptop by not being careful outside. After everything’s been said and done, how ransomware spreads also depend on the internet connections your computer relies on.

Overall, ransomware is a dangerous malware no one would ever want on their devices. Keep cool and contact an expert if you’re ever faced with this attack. Depending on how strong the malware is, ransomware removal can take hours, if not days. However long it takes, never pays the ransom. And most importantly, make sure your computer is never left without antivirus or an anti-ransomware application. When you have credible security systems, these are things you don’t even need to worry about anymore.

If you’re looking for stunning cybersecurity, contact Comodo Cybersecurity today!

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How to create your own ransomware

How to create your own ransomware

In an aim to better protect and mitigate the risk to yourself from malware, it can be helpful to know how to create your own ransomware. But first, let’s start with understanding what ransomware is.

A ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s files rendering them useless to its owners unless their demands are met. Sounds devious, right? It’s one of the growing ways to swindle money off of people in the advent of technology.

Unfortunately, ransomware has grown more notorious and can be used not only on your computers but across all sorts of devices. Mobile ransomware is also rampant in recent times, as more people save important details on their phones and tablets. So naturally, online thieving has also evolved to encompass that medium to gain track to more possible victims.

What is a ransomware creator?

A ransomware creator is something made available online for people who can’t code but have insidious intentions. Searching “how to create your own ransomware” can also be researched if one wants easy money.

Some ransomware creators can also produce mobile ransomware for those who’d want to cast a wider net. Swindling made-easy for any average Joe. Unfortunately, such service is available to the public. Albeit, not everyone could do it or else more people would be in financial risk.

However, if you have a determined mindset, you can do extensive research and find out how to create your own ransomware in the confines of your home.

So how is it done? Like previously mentioned, you don’t have to be a gifted coder or to even have knowledge of coding to work out a ransomware creator. Apps like TDK or Trojan Development Kit can be downloaded freely to get started.

With this app, you can even create on your phones. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy even for the non-tech savvy people attempting to build one. After downloading the app, follow the step-by-step instructions and fill out customization options.

Pretty convenient, right? Of course, the app doesn’t come for free. It requires a one-time payment to create your malware. Once done, you can use this ransomware on any software.

How to create your own ransomware: what’s the process like?

If you’re up for a little challenge, there are also other ways to create this indestructible system. Some websites allow you to download the actual software that creates the malware.

They will then provide you with simple steps on how to create your own ransomware based on the base software you downloaded. You can also customize to expand your resources and create mobile ransomware. For a paid fee, certain websites assure its customers that their malware is virtually undetectable and infallible.

It’s also made to fit the requirements of its user by allowing options and configuration for which files and folders to encrypt, the message to be displayed once the owner is locked out, and the bitcoin address to which the ransom is to be sent.

And if that’s still too mainstream for you, then there are even intricately made ones that are available in the dark web. Many online exploiters offer to instruct how to create your own ransomware that are more advanced in that section of the internet.

After subscribing to their service which of course requires a fee, certain nefarious websites hand out their hacking skills at even complex algorithms to avoid detection and provide more cunning ways to deliver the same objective to their victims.

Conclusion

Having said all that, however, does not mean to encourage people of value to submit themselves into becoming swindlers. All this knowledge should be put to use in preventing this unlawful practice to spread even more.

It is important to raise people’s awareness, to not become online prey to the crafty methods of stealing that has taken the world by storm these recent years. Since there are currently no other ways to create bulwarks for this sort of attack, knowing how to create your own ransomware is definitely handy to avoid it.

Since all ransomware is sealed tight and cannot be undone once it has acquired access to your system, prevention is the only method of protection. Once you know and understand its origins and where the strike might come from, you can build a system that better shelters us from it. In addition to awareness, it’s also essential to build a strong partnership with a trusted security system against malwares like ransomware.

For more info, visit Comodo Cybersecurity for maximum value and safeguarding!

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What is ransomware?

what is ransomware

Exactly, what is ransomware? We hear about it a lot online that it’s only right for us here at Comodo to discuss what it is. Ransomware is malignant software that’s designed to extort money from the people it impacts. Today, it’s one of the most creative business models specifically made to blackmail and corrupt both individuals and corporations. Usually, an on-screen notification appears, informing a user that a ransom has to be paid for their personal data and computing activities to remain untouched and not compromised. Only when the payment has been made will a user be able to use their computer again.

Failure to do so can result in their data being destroyed and their computer is inaccessible again. Furthermore, ransomware has the capacity to encrypt documents and to lock a computer screen.

For this article, we’re answering questions to “what is ransomware?”, “How to prevent ransomware?” and what strategies are best for ransomware removal.

what is ransomware

What is ransomware and how does it work?

There are multiple vectors this specific malware can take to gain entry to computers. Phishing scams, one of the most popular delivery systems, is one of them. These are attachments that are sent to a user through an email, pretending to deliver a safe and trustworthy file. Once they’re stored on the computer, they can then take control over a user’s computer. What’s even worse is that many of these types no longer need a user to grant them administrative access. A lot of times, powerful forms of ransomware exploit security gaps to harm computers without needing to fool a user into giving them access.

As mentioned earlier, there are several things the malware can do once it takes over a computer, but the most popular move is to encrypt a user’s data until the money is released. Furthermore, only the attacker can decrypt someone’s files. Until then, one’s computing activities will remain hostage.

In some malware types, attackers can pretend to be people from the authorities, saying the computer bears piracy or illegal activity before demanding a fee. This tactic is usually resorted to, to make victims less likely to turn to professionals for help and counsel. Still, many attackers no longer bother to go that route, and demand for ransom straight up. Another direction many of these cyber criminals take is called doxware or leakware. What attackers do is to find sensitive data that are potentially damaging to the user and use these to blackmail them. But because extracting these kinds of information can be challenging and can take a while, encryption ransomware is the easiest way to attack a user.

What is ransomware: who does this malware target?

There are numerous ways cybercriminals choose their victims. Precisely because of this, it’s best to know malware removal strategies in advance. A lot of times, attackers target academic institutions solely because not too many universities and schools have a large IT team to take care of their database. Government and medical organizations make for perfect targets for attackers, too, since these are groups of people who are more likely to pay a ransom immediately because of the urgency of their data.

Still, don’t feel exempted from their usual victims just yet. Anyone can experience a ransomware attack, so it’s best to keep your guards up.

How to prevent ransomware

Now that we know the answer to “what is ransomware?” Let’s move forward to improving our ransomware removal strategy. Knowing how to prevent ransomware can spare you the emotional and financial stress this malware can bring, so keep the following pointers in mind:

Make sure your operating system is up-to-date. Doing so guarantees that your computer has fewer vulnerabilities to worry about—if not none at all.

Unless you know the ins and outs of the software you’re about to install, never grant it administrative privileges. One of the first things in understanding how to prevent ransomware is that it functions best and takes over your computer when you allow it to. Although many ransomware can function despite you not giving it access, allowing certain software administrative privileges can only increase your chances of an illegal takeover.

Never undermine the power of a credible and effective antivirus subscription, enterprise, or otherwise. Not only will this lessen your chances of any digital attacks, but an antivirus program will also work to make sure your computer functions optimally and efficiently.

Ultimately, we have the power to steer clear from ransomware. When we up our ransomware removal and prevention efforts, we better control the fate of our computing activities and our data.

If you’re unsure about the privacy of your computer, sign up with Comodo Cybersecurity today!

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