How Fast Does Ransomware Work?

How Fast Does Ransomware Work?

It is no longer news that ransomware is presently one of the most troublesome and challenging issues malware threatening businesses and individuals. Ransomware attacks in the United States alone cost businesses over $7.5 billion in 2019.

The most recent ransomware attacks—and one of the most devastating in recent history was the WannaCry worm which ultimately infected over 200,000 computers across 150 nations within four days. Estimates of damages exceeded $1 billion, taking into account service outages, data loss, disrupted operations as well as recovery.

This goes to show how destructive ransomware can be within a short period. The painful part is that there is no sign of slowing down. Cybercriminals can easily purchase malware on the dark web, thereby making ransomware-as-a-business a booming business today.

How Fast Does Ransomware Work?

How Does Ransomware Work?

Once the ransomware malware penetrates your computer, the attack takes effect almost immediately. However, there are cases where the malware may hide on a victim’s computer for a long time—looking for essential data to encrypt.

Once the malware finds a victim’s essential data, it encrypts files and all important documents on the infected system, thus rendering them inaccessible. Unlocking these files requires the use of a decryption key, and the only way to get it is by paying the ransom demanded. Paying this ransom, however, does not guarantee the encrypted files will be unlocked. Yet, many ransomware attacks have seen the attackers lifting the restriction after the payment.

Other variants of ransomware do not encrypt files but may disable access to them. In some cases, the malware may alter the behavior or action of an application or a file. Whichever is the case, you will definitely know that your PC or device is infected because ransomware usually comes with a ransom note which will be displayed on your screen. The note will ask you to pay a particular amount of money, generally in virtual currency or Bitcoin.

How Fast Ransomware Works

You may be wondering how fast ransomware works to have caused such devastation within a short period. In-depth and meticulous research has revealed that the average time it takes for ransomware to start encrypting the files in your PC or network is only 3 seconds.

That is to say, as soon as you download that shady eBook or run that malicious macro, your files have started encrypting even before you think up the great idea of taking your PC to the IT helpdesk.

Within that precious time-frame, several destructive tasks would have taken place which renders you helpless and utterly incapable of doing anything.

The Impact of Ransomware

The impact of ransomware on businesses and organizations around the world is one of shocking disbelief. Not less than 966 organizations in the education, government, and healthcare sectors were attacked with ransomware in 2019, according to reports. This has resulted in potential damages averaging over $7.5 billion.

Moreover, recovery costs from a less-than-severe Ransomware attack during the first quarter of 2020 more than doubled. But there is more than these growing numbers which require your undivided attention.

Cybercriminals are becoming even more brazen with access to malware variants that can steal data as well. These bad actors then threaten to expose the stolen data if the victims do not pay up as soon as possible.

These fear and scare tactics have convinced many organizations that paying a ransom is a small sacrifice compared to what may occur if their secrets are exposed and their brand reputation ruined. And this line of thought is precisely what encourages such malware attacks in the future.

Preventive Measures

You can take preventive measures against Ransomware attacks by ensuring all software on your system is patched with the latest updates. Make sure all your firewalls are correctly configured and ensure you keep regular backups.

Your staff must also be trained always to be wary of potentially harmful files and not to open malicious emails or click links from unrecognized sources.

And organizations should not hesitate to engage the services of trained cybersecurity professionals that will help them test their defenses from time to time.

Security systems like antiviruses/anti-malware programs can also help you detect and block ransomware and other malware from entering your system. Also, you should invest in advanced security systems to block advanced threats that may bypass antiviruses/anti-malware.

Conclusion

Cyber threats are evolving so rapidly, and you have to put up the best measures to keep your data secured. Ensure your software is up-to-date, be careful of attachments from unrecognized sources, and keep regular backups.

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How Can Ransomware Spread?

How to remove Gandcrab v5 0.4 ransomware

Many years ago, in 1989, precisely—a seminar organized by the world health organization witnessed attendees’ data restricted after using an AIDS guide diskette on their computers. This diskette was loaded with malicious codes instead of the information it claimed to have about AIDS. The creator of the malware, Joseph Popp, who was actually an AIDS researcher, requested a certain sum from the victims before the restrictions could be lifted. However, the attack was neutralized as tools became available to crack the codes, but the pace for ransomware attacks was set.

Today, ransomware attacks have become rampant, costing victims millions of dollars. Government agencies, businesses, and individuals have all had their share of ransomware attacks, which has continued unabatedly.

How does ransomware spread? Ransomware does spread, yes! And the methods of attacks vary. Basically, phishing has been the widely used method of spreading ransomware. Below, we have considered the various phishing methods and other methods of attacks deployed in spreading ransomware.

Email Attachments

This is one of the phishing methods used by ransomware criminals to spread ransomware malware. The email attachments are accompanied by con messages pretending to be your business associate or client. If you’re a target, they go the extra mile to research your clients or business associates, hack into their emails or create a similar email identity. The attachments may come in different formats such as ZIP files, PDF, Word document, Excel spreadsheet, etc. Opening the attachment lets the ransomware into your computer.

Prevention Tips

  • Do not open email attachments from untrusted senders.
  • Check carefully to spot emails impersonating your business associate, client, or service providers. It is possible to register a domain name with a different extension similar to your business partner or anyone they are impersonating. Ensure you compare such emails before you take any action.
  • Call your business partner, client, or service provider to verify any email from them asking you to open suspicious attachments.

Infected Links

Although you may not identify an infected link by mare looking at the URL, the sender and accompanying text can help you suspect such links. This is another method of phishing used by ransomware criminals. The messages are often worded convincingly, to trick you into clicking the link. Infected links are spread through social media messages, emails, and other digital means of sending messages with links.

Prevention Tips

  • Be careful of persuasive messages sent via emails and social media private message box asking you to click a link. Do not quickly trust the identity as any of your friend’s may compromise, and they’d attack through the profile.
  • Hover around URLs to check what the link contains.
  • Use short URL checker tools to expand shortened URLs.
  • Enter links manually on your computer to avoid opening phishing links.

Remote Desktop Protocol

Ransomware can also spread via a network. As you may know, the remote desktop is a communication protocol that allows connection between two computers over a network connection, and this a popular attack vector. Dharma, SamSam, and GandCrab, etc., are typical examples of ransomware spread through a remote desktop protocol.

Prevention Tips

  • Use strong passwords and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts
  • Ensure you change your remote desktop control port.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for remote sessions
  • Use a VPN

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)

About 22 towns in Texas were attacked by ransomware in August 2019—demanding 2.5 million dollars as ransom. This attack, according to available statistics, was spread through MSP tools. MSPs are frequent targets of phishing attacks through exploiting the RMM software. An attack on MSP can affect the whole customer base.

Prevention Tips

  • Enable two-factor authentication on RMM software.
  • Ensure you use an MPS company with advanced security systems to combat phishing scams.

Cracked/Pirated Software

Are you happy downloading cracked software into your computer as you don’t have to pay for them? You may have to pay more money to ransomware criminals if you continue using cracked software. Most of the cracked software sites are operated by scammers in disguise. They may hide malicious codes on them, which means installing the software signals a welcome to the malware.

Aside from the software harboring malware, cracked software does not receive updates from the developers, and you do miss essential updates. Note that most updates are released to patch security vulnerabilities. With outdated software, you risk being easily attacked by ransomware.

Prevention Tips

  • Do not use cracked software.
  • Be wary of some free software.

Wrap Up

Ransomware can also spread through websites pop-ups, USB drives, network propagation, malvertising, etc. You can avoid ransomware by following the prevention tips highlighted above and also investing in security systems.

Most importantly, make sure to back up your data to help you recover them if the worse comes to worst!

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What is the Purpose of Ransomware?

data security

Ransomware is a type of malware that impacts computer users negatively. You probably know the intent of malware—corrupt computer files, damage, etc.

But what is the purpose of ransomware? Unlike other malware, ransomware’s primary goal is not to corrupt users’ files or destroy them, but to get money from the victims fraudulently. Ransomware attacks encrypt users’ data, lock them out of their computers, and demand a ransom before lifting the restriction. In recent years, government agencies, healthcare providers, and other businesses had lost considerable sums to ransomware attacks.

Once you’re hit by ransomware, your entire business suffers setbacks as all your essential data is rendered useless until the ransom is paid. So, it’s safe to say the primary purpose of ransomware is to rip off the victims of their money. However, there have been cases where ransomware victims couldn’t recover their data after paying the requested ransom, which means attackers may have other plans. Here’s a look at other possible purposes of ransomware:

Steal Your Data

Though they may request ransom and probably return your access, they’d steal your data for what use you may not know. Since the attackers can access your information during the attack, there’s a high chance that most of your vital data may be in public for some selfish reasons, perhaps.

Damage Your Data

This has been the core of most malware attacks, and ransomware criminals can also take this path. Already, there are cases where the returned files are altered, resulting in damages. On the one hand, ransomware attacks can also destroy your data, and statistics say some victims lost their files even after paying the ransom.

Sell Your Data

Chances of ransomware criminals selling off victims’ data are high. Of course, they can access your entire information, which means they’d sell it off if they have the right offers.

Who’s a Target of Ransomware?

In the early phase of ransomware attacks, healthcare industries were mostly targeted. However, recent statistics show that government agencies and schools have severally been on ransomware books. An oil and gas company was also attacked recently in the United States. This indicates that companies with essential data are targets of ransomware and even figureheads in such companies.

Avoiding Ransomware

Avoiding ransomware begins with understanding how the malware enters a computer system. The most used method is phishing.

As you may know, phishing involves sending infected attachments to users through emails, social media, etc. But why would one open an infected attachment? Of course, no one will willingly open an infected attachment. But ransomware creators are somewhat con artists. They send deceitful emails pretending to be your business associate or service providers.

Most of the time, they create email IDs similar to popular service providers and banks, and may also hack into real users to attack their user base. Ensure you verify emails before opening the attachment therein.

Other methods include infected software, pop-ups from suspicious websites asking you to update software, social media content, etc. Overall, ransomware depends on a host to attack computers. Avoiding ransomware, therefore, requires being able to identify unsafe links and avoiding them. You should verify email IDs before taking any action based on the content of the email. You may want to call your service providers to verify emails requesting you to open attachments.

Apart from being vigilant about attachments and unsafe software, you also need to invest in security systems to protect your computers. Sometimes, a trusted vendor may compromise, and this can also get your system infected. But security systems can help you combat malware.

Antiviruses/Anti-malware

These are popular traditional security systems and are useful in combating malware. Ensure you get the best ones. However, traditional security systems may not stop some advanced threats, so you need advanced security systems to protect against tough malware.

Advanced Security Systems

Fileless malware and other types of sophisticated malware usually trick traditional security systems but can be stopped by advanced security systems. Advanced security systems use security technology like AI, IoT, etc., to Detect and block tricky malware.

If you’re not sure what advanced security systems are, check out Comodo’s Advanced Endpoint Protection.

Wrap Up

Ransomware’s primary purpose is to steal victims’ money by forceful demands via ransom. However, victims may also lose data and risk having their data on public domains. Ransomware has no good intent, so it’s best to protect against the attacks.

While you get the best security systems, ensure you stick to basic cybersecurity tips such as keeping all your applications updated, setting strong passwords, etc. More so, data backup is necessary as it gives you the option of recovering your data in case of any unusual event.

Malware Ransomware: What Does It Mean?

malicious software

If you’re not familiar with what ransomware and malware actually mean, you probably would be confused about these two terms. Is there anything like malware ransomware? By this, some people are referring to ransomware and also adding that it’s a malware. If you’re puzzled about these two terms, this article explains the key points about malware and ransomware.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

What is Malware?

Malware is any malicious software designed to harm your computer by corrupting its files and application. This action may cause a bug on your computer or even result in your hard drive’s crashing. Malware attacks are usually severe, and no one loves to experience it. However, over the years, there have been so many cases of malware attacks, and here is how you can become a victim:

Downloading Infected Software

Malware is created by individuals and through codes. The people behind the malware will insert these codes into legitimate software. Downloading any of such software into your computer opens you up to malware attacks. Should you avoid downloading any software? Your computer needs software to deliver its functions, and depending on what you want, you need relevant software to carry out your activities, so downloading software is somewhat inevitable. But you need to avoid downloading software from untrusted sources and also avoid cracked software. Go for the original version from the developers and update them always.

Attachments

Opening attachments sent along with emails and private messages sent to you on social media platforms can also invite malware to your computers. Some malware attackers would embed malicious code in this link with a deceitful text—to trick you into opening the link. Ensure you check emails and inbox messages carefully before opening any attachment that comes with it.

Unsafe Websites

Malware can also get to your system through suspicious websites. Some criminals would create a website to spread malware to unsuspecting internet users. The method here is mostly via pop-ups—you may suddenly see a pop up asking you to update software on your computer or enter a promotional offer. You need to be mindful of this scam method and ensure you verify any website before opening attachments of any sort.

You can also be infected by malware through infected files from Bluetooth, flash drives, etc. You want to scan any file thoroughly before sending it to your system.

What is Ransomware?

Now that you know what malware is, you sure want to know about ransomware, which is the basis of this article. So, what is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malware that infects your system through any method of infection discussed above. However, for ransomware, the intent is not to damage your data, but encrypt them, deny the owner access to the data and ask for a ransom before the victim regains access to the data.

You can become a victim of ransomware via phishing emails, calls, social engineering, and other methods of malware attack, as discussed above.

What is the Relationship Between Ransomware and Malware?

As you may know, there won’t be ransomware without the existence of malware. Ransomware is a product of malware, and there are other types of malware apart from malware. So, whenever someone talks about ransomware, the broad emphasis is on malware. Malicious computer programs that harm your commuter in different ways. On malware ransom, this term is commonly used to refer to ransomware malware.

How Dangerous is Ransomware Attack?

A Ransomware attack is not a pleasant experience. In recent years, victims have lost a huge sum of money to recover their systems. In some cases, they lose some data, not to mention the crippling of activities throughout the attack. A ransomware attack is quite dangerous; it poses a severe threat to individuals, businesses, and government agencies.

What is the Way Out?

Attackers are losing sleep. They continuously research to make their criminal deeds successful. You also want to ensure you deploy the best security systems to protect your data and computer. While traditional security systems like antiviruses and firewalls can block some malware, some malware bypasses them. Such malware includes fileless malware, ransomware, Trojans, etc. So, you need to deploy advanced security systems like endpoint protection to stop advanced malware.

Also, you should adhere to the basic cyber-security rules. Back up your data and avoid opening attachments or downloading software from untrusted sites, set strong passwords, and keep your applications and operating system updated.

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Threatware Meaning: Here is the Insight Details

how to remove FBI ransomware virus

The term threatware is commonly used to refer to computer programs that are designed to harm your computer. These types of programs include spyware, worms, Trojans viruses and other types of malware.

As you may know, malware poses a serious threat to businesses and individuals. Over the years, millions of computer users have been victims of several malware attacks ranging from attacks that damage data and the prevalent ransomware.

Unlike other malware attacks, Ransomware intent is to hold victims to a ransom. You risk losing your data if the ransom isn’t paid as demanded.

How Does Malware Enter Computers?

Downloading an infected software or opening an infected attachment introduces malware to one’s computer. Cybercriminals develop malware with different motives but all hinged on targeting your files. The attackers spread these malicious codes through third-party files.

You probably know or have heard about phishing. This is the method used by cybercriminals to spread malicious codes. They will send deceitful emails pretending to be someone you know or any of your service providers. The intent is to have you open the attachment with malicious code, which will transfer the malware to your computer.

You can also get malware on your computer from unsafe websites. Downloading or opening links on fishy websites can get your system infected.

Files transferred via flash drives, Bluetooth and other similar methods can get your system infected as well. This happens when you receive an infected file from another computer drive to your computer.

Different Types of Malware

Malware or threatware (as some people want to call it) are of several types. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of malware that affect computer users:

Worms

Before viruses and Trojans became the main threats to computer users, worms were the widely known malware. Its attack is through phishing and quite contagious. A single computer infected by worms can spread malware to other computers within a network. Though worms are no longer active today, they are being replaced by Trojans, and its mode of attack is replicated in many other malware attacks like ransomware.

Trojans

Trojans are a perfect replacement of worms. Like worms, Trojans spread through phishing. Emails are sent to unsuspecting people with malicious codes embedded on the attachments. This sends the Trojans into your system once you open the attachment. Trojans host not only rely on this method of spreading the malware, but fishy websites are also used to launch attacks. One popular form of Trojan attack is the fake antivirus. It pops up on these fishy websites asking you to download the antivirus to protect your computer or remove malware. This is only a con way to attack your computer.

Fileless Malware

Fileless malware is regarded as a type of malware, but in essence, it depicts the advanced method of spreading malware. Most malware depends on a host to get to your system—like downloading infected software or opening attachments that are infected. But fileless malware doesn’t depend on any host to settle on your computer. The malware spreads through non-file applications such as registry keys, APIs, scheduled tasks, and other forms of OS objects. With its method of operation, fileless malware appears to be difficult to detect by antiviruses and firewalls.

Ransomware

This malware is also spread through phishing—emails, fishy websites, etc. Unlike other malware, this one encrypts its victims’ data and requests for a ransom before the files are freed. In recent years, ransomware has attracted a lot of attention following its terrible attacks. Victims are denied access to their computers and business activities crippled throughout the attack. Not to mention the huge sums they lose to the cybercriminals.

Other types of malware include spyware, adware, malvertising, etc.

Can Malware Attack Be Prevented?

Malware attacks are the reason for cyber-security. Preventing attacks involves sticking to cybersecurity rules. This includes:

  • Keeping your applications updated
  • Log out of public computers when done with your activities
  • Set strong passwords and avoid using your name, date of birth and other simple phrases that can be easily guessed
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi
  • Get active antivirus
  • Do not share your login details with third parties and change your login details from time to time
  • Use an advanced security system

Final Words

Malware has been around for ages and are usually curtailed through traditional security systems. However, recent developments have seen cybercriminals developing malicious codes that sidestep antiviruses and firewalls. If you still depend mainly on antiviruses, you may be taking a serious risk as some advanced malware can beat antiviruses no matter how active. You need advanced security systems like Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) to fight advanced threats.

Not sure what AEP is and how it works? Click here to learn more.

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Ransomware Attack Definition: What You Need to Know

computer vulnerability definition

Since WannaCry caused a global outcry, the average computer user has learned the term— “ransomware”.

Ransomware is not new. It’s been here for ages. The first known case was Joseph Popp, an evolutionary biologist who developed the AIDS Trojan. Any computer infected with the Trojan was asked to pay $189 before getting access to their computer.

Over the years, ransomware attackers have become more sophisticated and have attacked individuals, hotel chains, hospitals, government agencies, etc. The most famous remains WannaCry not because of the level of its damage but also the media attention it garnered.

This article provides insights into ransomware attack definition and other relevant areas.

What is Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents users access to a computer system. Some ransomware might allow access but encrypts sensitive data with demand for a ransom.

Most ransomware attacks that lock users out of a computer system happens in organizations where logging in to the system is critical for operations.

The most ransomware attacks turn files to a format that’s not readable while deleting the readable format. To get the keys to read the data, the victim is required to pay a ransom.

The Ransomware Process

Most ransomware follows a three-step process. To be safe from ransomware, you have to understand this process.

The Incubation Stage

This is usually the most crucial stage of the attack.

The attacker creates the malware and generates field-value pairs. These pairs are needed to either unlock the system or to decode the encrypted files.

Then, the malware is released via phishing scams. Methods of phishing scams include emails, cold calls, fishy websites, and software. Usually, these emails, calls, or pop-ups will appear meaningful, just to trick you into opening or downloading. They might even mimic your service providers — like healthcare providers, banks, energy bills, etc.

When you download a software containing the malware or click a link, it gets installed on your computer.

Once it gets into your system, the first stage is completed.

The Generation Stage

When the malware enters your system, it might not be called ransomware because it’s still a malware.

The malware will try to connect to the attacker with the public key encoded in the malware. It does this with an internet connection. If your computer can detect the presence before it connects to the internet, you might be able to stop it.

However, if it connects, the malware will use a random key to encrypt your data. It also creates a ciphertext with your data. The key to decode your files will only be available to the attacker.

At this point, it becomes a full-blown ransomware attack as your computer will display the message from the attacker.

To get access to your data, you’ll be needed to send the ciphertext alongside the payment.

The Encoding Stage

When the attacker receives the payment alongside the ciphertext, the attacker will decrypt the ciphertext with their private key and send the key to you.

That’s when you have to encode your data with the key sent from the attacker.

At this stage, the attacker is happy that you’re their latest victim. However, you can avoid this attack by following the necessary precautions.

Besides, you shouldn’t even trust attackers. If they can attack you in the first place, what guarantee is there that they would make good of their promises after making payment? Ensure you scan your computer and remove any hidden malware to prevent any further harm by the attacker.

How Do I Avoid Ransomware Attack?

The ransomware attack process is not pleasant. It’s not something you don’t want to experience. Not only will you waste valuable time but also spend money requested by the attacker.

The following tips can help you prevent ransomware attack:

  • Avoid fishy websites
  • Back up your data from time to time
  • Do not enter your personal details on an unsecured website. Some attackers can make a profile of you with just a few of your information
  • Update your software and operating system as the update comes up
  • Use strong passwords
  • Install active antivirus software in your system
  • Do not turn any security feature off when installing any software.
  • Use advanced endpoint protection.

Final Thoughts

Ransomware attacks are terrible. Ensure you stick to cyber-security rules to keep your systems protected. More importantly, since some malware like the ransomware malware does bypass antiviruses and firewalls, you should invest in advanced endpoint protection to strengthen your security. Advanced endpoint protection is designed with hands-on technology like AI, IoT, etc., to combat the most notorious malware. Learn more about advanced endpoint protection here.

What is Threatware?

What is Threatware?

Threatware, spyware, malware, are all terms used to describe malicious codes that harm your computers, steal your information, or hold your computer to a ransom. These malicious codes are spread by cybercriminals with the intent of wreaking havoc to your system. In recent times, ransomware has been in the news as one of the malware that threatens businesses’ growth.

What is Threatware?

How Does Ransomware Threaten the Growth of Businesses?

As you may know, ransomware is a type of malware that takes over your computer and sensitive data, encrypts them and prevents you from accessing the files. There are numerous records about ransomware attacks, crippling businesses for over a month before the owners can regain access. Since the first ransomware attack in 1989, more recent attacks have targeted the healthcare industry, finance and other large businesses.

How Ransomware Affects Your Computer

Though attackers develop the codes that harm computers, one might have compromised before the code gets to your computer. Ransomware is spread to computers via phishing scams. The same applies to other threatware. Here is a detailed look at how ransomware and other related malware infects your computer:

Phishing Emails

These are emails sent to your phone with the intent of stealing your information or encrypting your files. These emails are usually deceptive, mimicking your business associates and other service providers. They trick you into opening an infected attachment to carry-out their deeds. You’d prevent any form of malware attacks if you do not open such attachments.

Unsafe Websites

As you probably know, unsafe websites can reveal your information to cybercriminals. However, it’s a bit tricky to identify unsafe websites as cybercriminals create websites with all safety features but with hidden codes to steal or gain access to your data. It’s best not to enter your details on any random website you stumble on to prevent malware attacks.

Cold Calling

This method of phishing scam is also widely used by scammers. It works similarly to email phishing. The criminals will call you, claiming to be one of your service providers or something related to what you do. They’d further ask you to verify an account or update your details via a link sent to you. On doing what they asked, you are in—for the attack. So it’s best to always verify calls or messages from your service providers before you take the requested action.

Websites Pop-Ups

You may have noticed that some websites display a pop-up when you navigate through their pages. Most notifications will ask you to subscribe to a service, email list, updates, etc. Attackers also use this method to carry out their deeds. Mostly, they will display a deceitful pop up asking you to update software on your computer or sign up for a promotional offer. If you’re not sure of a website, do not be hasty in clinking links. Try to verify the site before you do anything that might open you up for malware attacks.

 Preventing Threatware Attacks

Cybersecurity can help you avoid any form of malware attacks. Here are some basic cybersecurity tips that can help you:

Keep Your System Updated

Your computer runs an operating system, as well as various applications. These applications are updated from time to time by the developers, and you need to ensure you update as new updates are available. Most new updates are intended to patch security loopholes, so ensure you update to protect attackers from taking advantage of the outdated software to your detriment.

Do Not Use Weak Passwords

Examples of weak passwords are your name, date of birth, or common words. These kinds of passwords can be easily guessed, so avoid using them. A strong password is a combination of upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols. This can help you prevent common malware attacks.

Get an Active Antivirus

Antiviruses can help repel common malware attacks. You should get a premium antivirus with all features and ensure you keep the software updated.

Use Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP)

Fileless and other sophisticated malware do bypass antiviruses no matter how active. You need advanced endpoint protection to block superior threat ware such as ransomware. AEP uses the most sophisticated security technology to detect and rid stubborn malware.

Final Thoughts

Malware attacks can harm your businesses or personal data, and you don’t want to experience that. Protecting your computer from attacks is the best thing to do. Do not rely only on the traditional security systems as some malware can bypass them. Advanced Endpoint Protection can help you combat notorious malware.

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  • How can ransomware encrypt encrypted files?

    How Can Ransomware Encrypt Encrypted Files?

    If you’re wondering “Can ransomware encrypt encrypted files?” The answer is, unfortunately, yes. As ransomware attacks are on the rise, more and more people are keen to learn ransomware defense mechanisms they can utilize for their cybersecurity. Ransomware encryption has become a hot trend for cybercriminals all over the world and thus, requires a little more awareness and vigilance from all web users as it poses very real threats to everyone’s personal and financial safety. Is anyone safe from ransomware? No, definitely not since any individual determined to create ransomware is now able to do so with the help of the internet, even without coding abilities. Ransomware encryption is within reach with online services that allow the creation of this malware through apps and services. However, there are also plenty of ways to build yourself a fort and layers of protection from ransomware, as well as all other types of malware, that are just as easy.

    How Can Ransomware Encrypt Encrypted Files?

    Encryption types

    You may ask, how can ransomware encrypt encrypted files? To summarize, ransomware works with ransomware encryption that locks the victim out of their computers, functioning as the hostage. Any computer or device without any form of ransomware defense is then vulnerable for such an attack. Once encrypted, it can only be unlocked by a decryptor code known only to the hijacker. Unless the ransom is paid, it will remain locked and beyond use. If you think that encrypting your files is a means of ransomware defense, then you are mistaken. Because encrypted files are not locked or immune to secondary encryption or malware encryption. Secondly, even if you use a partition, once the computer boots or is rebooted, it will decrypt automatically before encrypting again, which means the malware will still be able to take hold of it. There are two ways to answer “how can ransomware encrypt encrypted files?” that people should be wary of:

    • File encryption – This type of ransomware encryption targets all the content of your computer. Files of any and all types will be locked and unrecoverable until decryption is done. Malware such as ransomware is built to supersede any prior encryption you might have done, which means that they are still not safe from further cyber-attacks.
    • Device encryption – Another way that ransomware can encrypt encrypted files is through targeting the entire storage system of your computer as a whole. Where it renders your machine useless unless a ransom is paid. Because this method doesn’t need to scan through your files, having them encrypted would have no effect once the operational system of your computer is seized.

    Cyber protection

    Now that we’ve answered, “how can ransomware encrypt encrypted files?”. The next question we have to ask ourselves is “how can we avoid being victimized by cybercrimes like ransomware?”. Since everyone can very well be amongst the thousands of people scammed or exploited in this manner, it makes sense to arm ourselves with proper protection for our computers. Here are some ways to protect yourself from ransomware:

    • Instead of encrypting your files, back them up instead. One of the reasons why ransomware is such a popular way to coerce money out of its victims is the fact that people need their files. Be it personal or business, most people’s lives are saved in their PCs or devices. Hence, they are more susceptible to giving in to the threat. There are 2 ways to back your files up. You can buy an external hard drive and archive your files for safekeeping. Having a reserve or archived copy of your documents and photos not only provides a blanket of security but also helps organize your digital files much like storing winter things in the attic for the summer. Another, more convenient way, is to utilize cloud servers on the web. This allows automatic syncing for convenience. It also allows you to pull up your files on any device.
    • Make sure that your OS and apps are up-to-date. Developers are accountable for the security of the apps they produce, which is why it’s important to make sure that you update all your systems to avoid cracks and breaches in your fort. Imagine this as the cracks in the walls of your home. It’s there to ensure that your house remains solidly able to hold your ceiling together.
    • Now that we know that yes, ransomware can encrypt encrypted files, the biggest and most effective step to take is to rely on anti-malware services available on the internet. For personal users, a free service that serves the most basic security is enough. Business or heavy users, should check out free trials of more serious protection or invest in a full service that has bigger and more intricate coverage as they usually stand to lose more and thus, are more likely to be attacked. Partnering with reliable cyber protection can save you a lot of trouble, cost, and money in the long run as it prevents you from getting exploited by online burglars.

    For reliable and comprehensive ransomware defense, visit Comodo Cybersecurity today!

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    How to detect a ransomware attack

    How to Detect a Ransomware Attack

    Because ransomware is an inventive malware type that uses elaborate cop-out techniques, it’s a lot more difficult and challenging for ordinary antivirus programs to find. So considering how IT experts continue to up their ways in finding ransomware removal solutions, it’s only right that we improve our individual ransomware detection techniques, too. Precisely why for this article, we’re talking about how to detect a ransomware attack.

    How to detect a ransomware attack

    Check your email sources

    Much of knowing how to detect a ransomware attack comes from being careful, cautious, and alert. You can start by working on your ransomware detection techniques by checking the email addresses of the mail you get online. By using email addresses with similar spellings from the original ones, ransomware criminals send shady emails, hoping their recipients don’t see the difference. For instance, they can replace the uppercase letter ‘I” with the lower-case letter “L” since both symbols resemble each other. That said, take extra care before opening emails and clicking on attachments.

    How to Detect a Ransomware Attack

    Double-check the content of the email, too. Ransomware removal isn’t something you need to be worried about if, at the onset of an email, you’ve already ascertained its authenticity. Over are the days when ransomware is immediately noticeable because of the overt nonsense these emails contain. That isn’t the case anymore. Your first line of defense on knowing how to detect a ransomware attack will depend on your capacity to be mindful.

    Check domain links, too.

    How to detect a ransomware attack is also reliant on users being patient enough to check links before clicking them. Technology has now allowed many cybercriminals to thrive simply when their victims click on the link. If you suspect that an email is malicious, double-check the links included in the mail. Check the domains. Are they trustworthy? Have you heard of these domain names before? If you Google the domain name alone, will you be able to find something relevant?

    Attackers are extra deceitful nowadays so be very cautious. Ransomware removal can be costly if you don’t have the right computer protection. Of course, this tip isn’t exclusive to emails only. Whenever you see random links on social media or random blog posts, check them out, too. Again, we can’t stress enough how cyber thieves are upping their game. The last thing you’d want in all of this is to regret your internet surfing choices and re-think your ransomware detection techniques.

    Be careful with what you download

    Another surefire way to not have to worry about ransomware removal is being extra careful with what you download online, especially if you’re about to download zip files. A successful tactic attackers have mastered is to conveniently include malicious files in attachments that comprise a zip file.

    If, by any chance, a ransomware attacker successfully invades your system, don’t immediately give in to their demands. Study other ways out. Remember that anyone can be a victim of ransomware. This is why knowing how to detect a ransomware attack in advance is helpful.

    Protect yourself with advanced endpoint protection

    Perhaps the best and safest way anyone can ever guarantee complete protection from ransomware attacks is by signing up with a credible cybersecurity provider. Comodo Cybersecurity, for instance, extends stellar advanced endpoint protection. Knowing how to detect a ransomware attack can be challenging at times since being extra careful yourself can only go so far.

    Consider cybersecurity to be a vaccine for your computer and data.

    How much longer will ransomware stick around?

    Quite honestly, there is no end in sight. Granted how heavily digitized everything is now, we’re going to have to depend on computers and computing devices moving forward. Studies suggest that as long as automation and digitization thrive and expand, so will ransomware threats. It also doesn’t help that sending money today has never been easier.

    All that mentioned, expect only rapid growth from ransomware creators. If anything, knowing how to detect a ransomware attack should be instinctual for us users. The truth is, we can’t always double-check every single link we click. So the best thing to do is to always have a backup for our data. Prepare an external hard drive and make a habit of transferring files.

    For personal and intimate documents, be extra careful, too. Storing it only on your computer can prove detrimental. Prepare an ample number of flash drives around with you so you can categorize what documents belong where.

    For affordable award-winning cybersecurity, head over to Comodo Cybersecurity today!

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