What is Ransomware on a Computer?

What is Ransomware on a Computer?

Ransomware is somewhat only synonymous with a computer. Perhaps there would be no ransomware if computers never existed. Are you puzzled by the above? Let’s face it—what is ransomware on a computer?

As you may know, ransomware is a malware that attacks computers by encrypting users’ data and locking them out. A ransom is then demanded by the person behind the ransomware before the ceased data is released. So, ransomware on a computer is simply a malware attack. However, this malware attack differs from other types of malware. Its primary intent is to access your data and make them unreadable on your end, thereby asking for a ransom before normalcy is restored.

In recent years, ransomware criminals have carried out devastating attacks on businesses, government agencies, and even individuals. These attacks halted activities and cost the victims huge sums before retrieving their systems.

What is Ransomware on a Computer?

How Does Ransomware Get to a Computer?

Ransomware is not a default program but maliciously spread to computers. This act is executed by cybercriminals whose aim is to hold your data to a ransom. Of course, it’s money and nothing else for the ransom. The malware is spread through phishing and other methods. Let’s take a look at the various ransomware modes of spreading.

Email Trick

The whole idea deployed by ransomware attackers is to trick you into accepting the malware on your computer. Of course, you won’t willingly install malware on your computer, so the thieves pass through a host to spread the malware. In the case of emails, the malicious code is embedded in an attachment. The email may appear to be from any of your associates to trick you into clicking on it. You’d install the malware on your computer at a click of the link.

Cold Calls

Like emails, ransomware criminals may impersonate your business associates, service providers, etc., in an attempt to have you reveal your details to them. At other times, you may be asked to open a link that will be sent to you after the call, citing something related to any of your subscriptions.

Cracked Software

You probably know that cracked software is risky. Ransomware can also get to your computer through this means. Most cracked software websites are operated by scammers, they’d hide malicious code on the software to monitor your information and possibly strike if they see something interesting. Ransomware can hide on your computer for a long time, monitoring your activities to see the best time to launch an attack.

Compromised Vendor

Some vendors sell infected software but unknown to them. A compromised vendor is one whose software or other computer programs are hijacked by cybercriminals–adding malicious codes to steal users’ information. Always get your software from verified vendors and keep them updated whenever a new update is released.

Who’s a Target of Ransomware?

Given the statistics of ransomware, it’s safe to say ransomware mainly targets data-driven companies, including schools and government agencies. However, individuals are not left out; figureheads in major companies are also targets. Any other individual with sensitive data can be a target of ransomware as well. Since the attackers’ primary intent is to quickly get money from their victims, they focus on businesses and individuals that need their data to carry out daily activities.

More so, employees of such companies and government agencies are also targets. They may capture the entire system if one computer is compromised.

How to Prevent Ransomware from Entering Your Computer

As you have read, only a compromised computer can be attacked by ransomware, and you want to avoid opening unverified attachments and downloading software from untrusted sites. However, this might be difficult to maintain if you have a pool of employees, anyone can compromise unknowingly. Also, software from compromised vendors can result in a ransomware attack. Therefore, the best thing is to deploy the most effective means of cybersecurity.

Of course, antiviruses/anti-malware and firewalls are the basic means of securing your devices against malware attacks, including keeping your software updated, using strong passwords, etc. However, attackers do enhance their tricks, which has seen the emergence of fileless malware and the likes. These types of malware are advanced and may bypass antiviruses and firewalls in some cases.

This is why businesses are moving to advanced security systems like advanced endpoint protection. To ensure the best security for your business against malware, you need this security system that uses high-end security technology to identify and block sophisticated malware.

Wrap Up

While you deploy the best cybersecurity methods to keep your data safe, ensure you back them up. Data backup can help you recover your data in case of an attack or physical disaster that results in data loss.

What is Ransom Virus?

Endpoint Security Platform

Is there a thing called the ransom virus? This is the first question we have to answer before considering what ransom virus entails. Conventionally, there is something like ransom virus but technically not correct. Puzzled? We have written this article to explain more about these terms as they are often used interchangeably with “ransom malware” or “ransomware” as you may know.

By continuing to read, you will learn more about ransom virus, if the term is correct or not and what it represents.

Ready? Let’s dig in!

What is Ransom Virus, and What is Not?

The term ransom virus refers to a malicious code that attacks a computer user, encrypts the victim’s data, and denies access and requests for a ransom before releasing it. However, “ransom virus” as used by some people to describe the attack is not technically correct. Most people refer to any computer attack by malicious codes as viruses, and it’s no surprise that the computer attack that demands ransom is regarded as a virus.

While it is not entirely wrong to depict it as a virus, it’s essential to note that there is no ransom virus but malware that asks for a ransom after taking hold of your computer. This is best known as ransomware or ransomware attack. You may also want to call it ransom malware but not a ransom virus. A computer virus is a different type of malware with different attacks and actions. The same applies to ransomware, which is erroneously called the ransom virus. So, instead of describing it as a virus, you should call it malware: viruses and ransomware are different types of malware with different functions.

That said, let’s now consider the ransom malware, which is ransomware. What is it all about?

Ransomware malware is somewhat a new malware. However, statistics say it has been around since 1989 but took off in the mid-2000s—when the attacks affected healthcare industries, banks, and government agencies. Ransomware’s name is derived from the ransom attackers’ demand when the malware hits you.

This malware may damage your data out of errors, but the primary intent is not to harm your data. The person behind the attack is interested in getting money from its victims and not stealing data or destroying them. So, when this malware finds its way into your computer, it encrypts your data and limits your access. To regain access to your data, you may have to pay the ransom demanded.

Must the Ransom Be Paid?

Ransomware attacks are not mild—the attackers target data-driven businesses, and you know what it means to be locked out. Many victims have to pay the ransom to return to business. A typical example was an attack on the Baltimore City government. It took them over one month to regain their systems and activities were crippled throughout the attack. Plus, losing over $18 million in the process of recovering their systems, including the ransom.

However, there are cases where the victims refused to pay the ransom and still retrieved their data. This approach may work if your ceased data is backed up or doesn’t affect your day-to-day business operations. Otherwise, you risk losing your data without paying the ransom. The best thing is to prevent ransomware attacks

Methods of Ransomware Attacks

Like other forms of malware attacks, ransomware rests on a host to launch its attack. This malware doesn’t directly enter one’s computer but through an infected file or software. This host file may appear safe but contains malicious codes.

To spread the infected files to potential victims, the criminals would broadcast con emails with attachments containing the malware. The whole process is through phishing. They may impersonate any of your service providers to trick you into opening the infected attachments. With this same method, ransomware criminals also use social media, website pop-ups, and the likes to scout for victims.

Preventing Ransomware Attack

Avoiding suspicious email attachments and not downloading from software from random websites is the first step you want to take in preventing a ransomware attack. Other than that, cybersecurity can help you defend against ransomware and other malware attacks.

When you invest in cybersecurity, ensure you do not only rely on traditional security systems such as antiviruses and firewalls. Attackers have continued to devise new means of carrying their attacks, thereby developing more sophisticated codes that trick or forcefully bypass traditional security systems.

So, you need advanced security systems like advanced endpoint protection to stop sophisticated malware. You can learn more about advanced endpoint protection here.

Ransomware Meaning: What you Need to Know

What is a Malware Scanner

The majority of the malware that trouble computer users operate in a like manner. For instance, worms, Trojans, and viruses inhabit your computer and cause a bug or corrupt all files leading to data damages. The reverse is the case with ransomware, which is another type of malware. Although the mode of spreading is similar to other malware, ransomware intent is not to damage your data.

So, what is the meaning of ransomware? You probably have heard of malware attacks that prevent a computer user from accessing sensitive files and requesting a ransom before normalcy is restored—this is what ransomware entails. Once this malware finds its way to your computer, it encrypts all your important files and locks you out. A unique decryption key is created, which will be given to you after paying the ransom.

How Ransomware Works

There are different stages of a Ransomware attack. It begins with the transmission/spreading to the full-blown attack. Here’s a detailed look:

Transmission/Spreading

Ransomware is not a natural occurrence. The person behind the ransomware develops the malicious codes and sends them out to launch the attacks. This is usually spread via phishing. The attackers embed the codes on emails attachment, software, social media content and websites pop-ups.

The mode of spreading ransomware is quite deceptive. They’d send emails pretending to be a company you may have had dealings with, your healthcare provider, bank, etc. This is a trick to have you open the attachment, and once you open the attachment, the malware gets into your system and finds a comfortable place to hide.

This is the first stage of a ransomware attack, though you won’t call it a ransomware attack yet. If you’re able to detect the presence of malware on your computer at this time, you can get rid of it without any thoughts of ransomware. Of course, you won’t know what the malware is programmed to do on your computer until it does it.

Installs and Encrypt Data

This the penultimate stage of a ransomware attack. At this point, the malware is fully settled on your computer, and the attacker receives the signals. Your computer is now fully compromised, and the criminal behind the ransomware can view your data. The attacker then proceeds to encrypt your data and deny you access to them.

This is the period most ransomware victims would notice an attack but not sure what it is.

Full Blown Ransomware

After denying you access to your data and perhaps your computer entirely. The attacker places a notification on your computer screen, requesting you to pay a certain amount of money with payment instructions. Some messages include a warning from the attacker—threatening to destroy your data if the payment isn’t made as requested.

At this point, you can say you’re being attacked by ransomware. It is an unknown malware attack until you’re requested to pay a ransom.

Can the Ransom Amount Be Bargained?

Ransomware doesn’t allow the victim to communicate with the attacker. You can only see the request for a payment on the screen of your computer, so the amount can’t be bargained. Perhaps the attacker may decide to reduce the amount if the payment lingers for a while.

There’re attacks where the victims refused to pay the ransom and got their data in the end. However, this method is risky if your data under attack aren’t backed up. The best thing is to avoid being a victim of a ransomware attack.

How to Prevent Ransomware

Like other malware, you can prevent ransomware via the following ways:

  • Avoid opening attachment from unverified emails
  • Backup your data
  • Set strong passwords
  • Update all your application, including operating system
  • Use strong antivirus
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi
  • Use Advanced Endpoint Protection

Final Thoughts

While basic cybersecurity measures, as highlighted above, can help you prevent a ransomware attack, it doesn’t work all the time. As you probably know, some sophisticated malware will trick traditional security systems. Fileless malware is a typical example of such malware. Even the most reliable antivirus may not detect them as they don’t depend on files to carry-out their attack.

Note that fileless malware isn’t entirely a different type of malware but a means of launching attacks and settling on your computer. Ransomware can also take this approach, making it quite dreadful. You should get advanced endpoint protection to protect your system from advanced malware. If you’re not sure what advanced endpoint protection is, go here to learn about Comodo’s Advanced Endpoint Protection.

Ransomware Cyber-Attack Meaning

Enterprise Endpoint Security

You probably know that ransomware is a type of malware but with a different attack approach. Perhaps you’ve heard stories connected to ransomware attacks but not sure how it really operates. You’re on the right page—this article explains more details about ransomware attacks. So, let’s take a closer look at ransomware cyber-attack meaning.

Ransomware is what it is—this is a malware attack that displaces computer users, locks them out and denies them access to their essential data.

The Ransomware attack has been around for ages but came to public notice in the mid-2000s. Since then, several ransomware attacks have affected individuals, businesses, and government agencies—costing them a huge amount of money to recover their files. Needless to mention that activities are being paused during the attacks.

WannaCry is one of the popular types of ransomware known for encrypting users’ data and asking for a ransom. A major WannaCry attack took place in 2017 and caused severe damage to victims.

Is Ransomware a New Form of Cyber-Attack?

As mentioned earlier, ransomware has been around for ages but attracted significant attention in the mid-2000s following the devastating attack launched on major healthcare industries, banks, and government agencies.

However, the type of malware attack that encrypts the victim’s data and asks for a ransom appears new to the average computer user. More so, considering other types of malware like worms, Trojans, and computer viruses, it’s safe to say ransomware is a new type of malware with advanced mode attacks.

How Does Ransomware Attack Happen?

Ransomware creators do target their victims through emails, social media platforms, and unsafe websites. The attacks are carried out through phishing scams. This involves broadcasting con emails to trick people into opening an attachment that comes with the email. These attachments contain malicious codes, and opening it means you have compromised, and that gives rise to ransomware.

Another form of attack is through websites. The ransomware attackers also owned websites, which you may stumble into unknowingly while surfing the internet. You may see a pop-up asking you to download software, update your browser, etc. You really have to be wary of a non-software downloading website asking you to download a software missing on your computer. Also, you want to avoid using cracked software as this can spread the malware too.

Who is a Target of Ransomware?

Individuals, businesses, and government agencies are all targets of ransomware attacks. Ransomware attackers usually target victims that need data to operate daily— agencies or organizations that provide essential services. This is because such victims would pay the ransom quickly to enable them to carry out their activities.

For instance, in 2018, ransomware cyber-attackers targeted 119 school districts in the United States. The number came down to 72 in 2019, but this was more precise than the year before. The attack forced New York State to delay their school resumption.

Hospitals, power plants, and care homes are not left out. The CHU de Rouen, a 1300-bed hospital in France, made headlines when ransomware attackers knocked off their computers, forcing them to use papers.

Many counties governments in the United States also faced attacks from ransomware. Smaller counties like Riviera Beach and Lake City in Florida doled out some cash to ransom their information from attackers.

Can Ransomware Cyber-Attacks Be Curbed?

Although ransomware is a type of malware that could be stopped through cybersecurity measures, the creators have continued to devise new means of carrying out their attacks. However, ransomware can still be curbed through cybersecurity rules.

Since emails, forums, and compromised websites are avenues for ransomware attackers to spread their malicious software, you should be careful when using them. Make sure sites are secured and do a check on them before entering your personal details.

You should also:

  • Get an active antivirus and ensure you keep it updated
  • Update your operating system and all applications
  • Set strong passwords and avoid using easy to guessed passwords like your name, date of birth, phone number, etc.
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi—hackers can steal your information through this means
  • After using a public computer, ensure you log out
  • Get an advanced security system

What is the Advanced Security System?

These security systems are specially designed to tackle advanced malware like ransomware, fileless malware, etc. As you may know, antiviruses and firewalls are often tricked by advanced threats. Also, some malware does spread as fileless, making it difficult for antiviruses to detect and stop them. Cutting-edge security systems like advanced endpoint protection can help combat this stubborn malware as they use advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, etc., to detect and block them.

In addition to other cybersecurity measures, you need advanced endpoint protection to prevent ransomware and other malware attacks.

Related Resources:

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.

Related Resources:

Malware Attack: Different Types of Malware that can Attack Your System

cybersecurity

A malware attack is almost a buzzword. However, as days go by, people are changing careers. If you’re new to the computer lifestyle, you may have little or no knowledge about malware attacks and the different types of malware that affect computers. In this article, we want to show you the different kinds of malware that can harm your computer. That should give you a clue about preventing malware attacks.

But first;

What is a Malware or Malware attack?

You probably know that everything about a computer program is about codes. Codes are used to develop the essential software we need to carry out our daily activities on our computers. But sadly, some fellows decided to use this negatively, hence the birth of malware. So, malware is a computer software designed to harm your computer. It might involve slowing your computer, stealing your data, corrupting your files, encrypting your data, and asking for a ransom.

This is how malware attacks your computer. So, a malware attack is what it is—this is the stage where malware is currently discharging its duties on your computer. You can get malware on your computer through:

  • Downloading infected software
  • Opening infected links
  • Pop-ups from unsafe websites
  • Receiving infected files into your computer through Bluetooth, Flash drives, etc.

To avoid this, you want to be careful of any link you open and avoid downloading software from untrusted sites.

Types of Malware that Attack Your Computer

Viruses

This is almost a buzzword when it comes to any program that damages a computer. The term virus is commonly used to depict any malware attack. But this is not always correct as a virus is a type of malware, and not all malware programs are viruses. A computer virus is a type of malware that attacks a computer via other programs. It self-replicates on your computer through other programs. That is, it inserts its code into other applications, and gains access to your computer. This is why most computer viruses are usually tricky to rid as they operate from a host on your computer.

Most antiviruses programs may hardly detect a virus, and removing them would involve deleting the file or program that houses the virus.

Worms

Worms have been troubling computer users even before viruses became widely known and used by cyber-criminals. The method of spreading worms is usually via email attachments. The malicious worms are embedded in an attachment that may come with an email. Opening the attachment would immediately usher in the worm to your system. For companies operating on a network of systems, one infected computer may spread malicious codes to all other computers. Worms spread without an end-user action, which makes the attack so devastating.

Trojans

This malware replaces the dreadful computer worms. In a like manner of attack, Trojan horse disguises as a safe program but contains malicious codes that have been programmed to infect your system. Trojans are also older than computer viruses. They are pushed via emails with con content or through fishy websites. One of the most common Trojan is the fake antivirus program that pops up when you visit an infected site. The antivirus prompts you to run a program to rid out viruses from your system. Doing this opens the gateway for the Trojan.

Fileless Malware

This isn’t an entirely different category of malware but a description of malware that doesn’t infect systems through files. They don’t need any file to get into your system and find a place to settle. Instead, this malware spreads through non-file applications such as registry keys, APIs, scheduled tasks, and other forms of OS objects. Over time, fileless malware is increasingly becoming difficult to detect and stop. Since they don’t depend on files, traditional security systems like antiviruses and firewalls find it challenging to detect them. However, in recent times, advanced endpoint protection seems to be the best method of protecting against fileless malware.

Ransomware

Ransomware encrypts your computer data and asks for a ransom before the owner regains access. This malware operates in the form of a Trojan—they spread through phishing. This includes emails and social engineering. Ransomware victims are made to pay huge sums by the criminals before their data are released. It is difficult to reverse the attack once you’re a victim, and most victims have to pay the ransom.

Other types of malware include:

  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Malvertising
  • Hybrids and exotic forms.

Wrap Up

Malware attacks are often devastating, and the best thing is to avoid being a victim. This is possible by sticking to cyber-security rules and using advanced security systems to protect against stubborn malware.

Comodo’s Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) can help you prevent any form of malware attack. Go here to learn more about AEP.

What’s a Ransomware Attack?

How to protect RDP from ransomware

In recent years, businesses, health facilities and even government agencies have suffered a form of malware attack that cripples their day-to-day operations for some time. Unlike some malware attacks that damage and steal data, this particular attack locks you out of your computer and sensitive data until you’re able to pay a ransom before you can recover your system.

What’s a ransomware attack? You do guess that right. The above illustration points to ransomware mode of attack. We’re going to dig deep into what Ransomware attacks really is, how it affects computers, preventive measures, and what to do when this dreadful con malware attacks you. But first;

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data in your computer and locks you out. This malware doesn’t destroy your data but limits your access and request for a ransom before the victim can regain access. This is usually aided by an individual who has developed the malware to get money from people fraudulently.

Most victims of ransomware are made to pay a huge sum before they are allowed to recover their systems. The manner of attack makes it difficult to crack the codes as the malware immediately encrypts your data which can only be decrypted with a unique key from the ransomware criminal.

How Do You Know of a Ransomware Attack?

This malware doesn’t slow down your computer or cause any bug, so it’s difficult to spot it before it unleashes its mayhem. Most victims of ransomware realized that they were under a ransomware attack after receiving the on-screen notification requesting for a ransom.

If by any means you’re able to detect the presence of the malware on your computer, you do get rid of it before it encrypts your data.

Why is it Difficult to Trace the Payment Sent to Ransomware Criminals?

If you know a thing about cryptocurrencies, you will understand that this form of digital payment leaves no traces. It’s a form of digital payment without any third-party regulations. And this is the preferred payment method for ransomware assailants. Virtually all ransomware attackers have requested for the ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. This has made it difficult to fish out the perpetrators of ransomware attacks.

How Does Ransomware Enter a Computer?

Phishing has been the entryway for several ransomware attacks. Before anyone becomes a victim of a ransomware attack, odds are you might have downloaded an application containing the malicious code or clicked an attachment sent to your email. With any of these, the malware enters your computer to carry out its assignment.

Phishing is spread through emails, calls and messages on social media platforms. The attackers are always deceptive in their means of operations. They do send emails that mimic your bank, ISP, healthcare provider, etc. If you don’t check carefully to detect the difference, you may click the attachment thinking it’s from your service providers. You should verify any email sent to you before taking any action like opening an attachment.

Another way you can get infected is through pop-ups on websites. Be sure you don’t click on any random website asking you to update your outdated software. Most of them are scams.

What to Do When Attacked by Ransomware?

A ransomware attack is not a pleasant experience. The attackers do target your most important data. If you know your computer under attack houses essential data that are not backed up, you want to play along with the criminal’s requirements. But if you have no too much sensitive information and you have them backed up, you may want to wipe off all data on your computer completely. However, the best thing is to avoid being a victim of ransomware.

Preventing Ransomware

Basic cybersecurity rules can help you prevent ransomware attacks. This include:

  • Avoid opening suspicious attachments
  • Backing up your data
  • Keep all your applications and operating system up-to-date
  • Set a strong password and do not use one password for all your accounts
  • Avoid the use of public Wi-Fi
  • Get a strong antivirus
  • Use advance endpoint protection.

Final Thoughts

You may wonder if all the victims of ransomware attacks did not adhere to cybersecurity best practices. Perhaps they did, but ransomware malware is quite deceptive, it tricks antiviruses and firewalls to think it’s not harmful. This is why businesses are now deploying advance endpoint protection to block advanced malware like ransomware. This security system uses advanced technologies like IoT, AI, etc., to detect and stop sophisticated malware.

Curious to learn more about advanced endpoint protection? Go here for details.

Related Resources:

What Can Ransomware Do to Your Data?

How to get rid of virus

Cyberattacks have increased since 2015. From 3.8 million attacks, the numbers peaked in 2016 at 638 million. In 2019, 187.9 million cyber-attacks happened. Although that number is less than the 2016’s amount, it’s far more massive than the attacks of 2015.

While the most cyber-attacks involve malware attack and knocking off services from operations, there’s a new form of cyber-attack—ransomware.

Ransomware creators had a somewhat fulfilling time in 2017 when WannaCry affected computer users worldwide. The cost of the attack on the NHS, according to their spokesperson, amounted to $115m with over 19000 appointments canceled.

What can Ransomware do to your data? The above is the harm ransomware can cause individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Unlike other types of malware, this malware locks a computer owner out—encrypts essential data and asks for ransom before releasing it.

The means of payment is displayed on the screen of the victim’s computer, usually via cryptocurrency. The reason for using cryptocurrency is because the system leaves no traces of payment. Cryptocurrency is not regulated by any government or third parties. This makes its transactions unmonitored.

Let’s take a detailed look at what ransomware does to a victim’s computer and files.

Five things Ransomware Does to Your Data

Denies You Access to Your Data

Ransomware creator intends to take over your data to have you pay a ransom before regaining access to your data. So, the first thing that happens when the malware enters your computer is to block your access. This is the period most victims would realize that they are under a malware attack

Your files are converted into an unreadable format. If your images are in jpeg, png, or gif format that can be read by an image viewer, the ransomware converts them to a format that no image viewer can access.

Some ransomware might encrypt a few of your data. However, the majority of them target all your information, turning them into an unreadable format.

Deletes Your Data

Some ransomware creators add rules in the malware to delete some of your information.

Some victims noticed that after a particular period, one file will be deleted, then two and four. So it goes, increasing exponentially until there’s no file left on the computer.

Exposes Your Personal Information

Ransomware attackers can reveal your personal information like credit card details, pictures, and other private information.

GrandCrab threatened to expose its victims’ pornography history, except they pay a ransom.

When ransomware gets into a computer, it usually lurks there for a long time before carrying out its attack. Virtual Care Provider Inc, an IT company, had ransomware undetected on their computer systems for up to 14 months.

Imagine ransomware staying that long inside your computer and the information it would have collected by then.

Damages Your Information

Even if you eventually get access to your information, it may not remain the same as it was before the malware attack. Some files held to ransom by ransomware attackers became damaged after the encryption. The key that encrypted the files caused errors, making them unreadable after they have been decoded.

There might also be traces of the ransomware inside your files abetting the ransomware attackers for another attack.

Sells Your Information

Ransomware is a malware that asks its victims for money to regain access to their computer after ceasing the access. Like some malware that collects keystrokes and steals personal information, ransomware sits and waits to lock you out of your computer.

Whether they grant you access to your information, they might still sell it to a third party.

Avoiding Ransomware

The best way to be safe is to make sure that ransomware doesn’t get to your computer. If you compromise, odds are you may become the next victim of ransomware. However, cyber-security rules can help you defend against malware.

Here is how you avoid ransomware:

  • Avoid downloading software from untrusted sites and also verify emails before you open any attachment therein.
  • Update your applications—software like browsers, image viewers, and email clients are hotspots for ransomware. Even your operating system should be up-to-date.
  • Use strong passwords and ensure they are not easily guessed. You can use a password generator to create a password, then write it on paper or use password saving services to store them.
  • Install active antivirus—an active antivirus can prevent computer viruses and other malware.

Wrap Up

Since antiviruses are sometimes bypassed by sophisticated malware, you need advanced endpoint protection to prevent advanced threats. This is an advanced security system designed to detect and stop advanced malware. You can learn more about advanced endpoint protection here.

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Threatware Meaning: Here is the Insight Details

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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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