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 Though worms are no longer active today, they are being replaced by Trojans, and its mode of attack is replicated in many other malware attacks like ransomware.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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What Ransomware Does to Computer Files?

What Is a Ransomware Virus?

It is common knowledge that malware attacks corrupt files and sometimes destroys them completely. However, the reverse is the case with ransomware.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is another malware type that infects computers. But unlike other malware, ransomware does not destroy or corrupt your files. So, what does ransomware do to one’s computer files? As the name implies, this malware is all about a ransom. Once it gets to your computer, it encrypts your essential data and denies you access to them. You cannot retrieve your files until you pay a ransom.

Over the years, ransomware has infected several computer users—businesses, individuals, and government agencies, ripping thousands of dollars from victims. There are even cases where the victims have to spend more money to restore normalcy to its operation.

Is Ransomware Declining or Thriving?

Although there have not been loud cases that attracted the media’s eyes in 2020, 2019 recorded high cases of ransomware attacks that cost the victims millions of dollars. One of these is the attack on the Baltimore City government. This attack crippled activities for over one month and sucked away over 18 million dollars before normalcy was restored.

There were numerous cases of Ransomware attacks targeting schools, government agencies, and healthcare organizations.

Ransomware is not declining as individuals fall prey to attackers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, individual attacks do not attract much media coverage, which may appear as if ransomware is declining. The attacks are on, and the best thing you want to do is prevent ransomware in its entirety.

Should you Pay the Ransom?

If you have backed up all your data and are sure of recovering them successfully, you may want to ignore the ransom request and proceed with your business. You need to identify the risk factor before you take this approach. If your data aren’t backed up or not sure of the recovery process, it’s best to play along with the attacker to ensure you recover your data without any harm.

Still, you don’t have to wait for a ransomware attack and eventually think of whether to pay the ransom or not. Preventing ransomware is the way to go.

How Can One Prevent Ransomware Attacks?

To prevent ransomware attacks, you need to understand how the malware spreads. Phishing has been the most successful method of spreading ransomware malware.

The ransomware assailants would put malicious codes on email attachments and broadcast to unsuspecting people with con messages. They may even mimic your personal physician, bank account officer, etc. The plot is to have you open the attachment for the malware to enter your system. You should be careful with emails you’re not sure of—look careful to identify the sender.

Another form of phishing is through infected software. You should avoid downloading cracked software and be sure you download only from trusted sites.

Website pop-ups can also send ransomware to your computer. Some websites may display a pop up when you land on specific web pages. The pop up may prompt you to subscribe to a mailing list or something related. While some of these pop-ups are safe, others may be fishy—especially pop-ups asking you to update your browser or any application on your way. Be sure you know the website is safe before opening or downloading anything.

With the above, you already have a clue about preventing ransomware attacks.

Here are other ways to prevent ransomware attacks:

  • Ensure you keep all your software updated: Software developers release updates periodically, and some of these updates are security patches. Ensure you update always to block all loopholes
  • Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi can reveal your information to third parties, which may result in a malware attack.
  • Get the best antivirus: Antiviruses can help you block some malicious code embedded in software and attachment.
  • Set strong passwords and do not share with third parties: Weak passwords can be easily guessed, so use strong passwords always. Do not use your name or date of birth.
  • Backup your files: Data backup can help you retrieve your data in case of an attack.

Wrapping Up

You may wonder if other people affected by ransomware have no preventive measures in place. Perhaps they have, but ransomware assailants have continued to devise new methods to make their attacks successful. You probably know that some sophisticated malware can beat antiviruses and firewalls. This is why you should up your security strategy by using advanced security systems other than antiviruses and firewalls.

Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) helps to defend against sophisticated malware like ransomware and fileless malware. The system uses AI, IoT, etc., to detect and block tricky malware.

Curious to know more about advanced endpoint protection? Learn more here.

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What is Ransomware Virus?

How to Stop Locky Ransomware?

But is ransomware a virus? While most people have repeatedly used the term virus to describe computer attacks, not all attacks are caused by viruses. Computer viruses are malware, and so is ransomware.

Does Ransomware Virus Exist?

In reality, there is no ransomware virus. This term is commonly used by people without a profound knowledge of ransomware to describe ransomware attacks. As mentioned, most people are quick to say my computer is being infected with a virus when anything goes wrong. While this may not be the right term to use, it directly tells what the person is talking about.

So, ransomware virus as most people want to call it directly points to the ransomware malware. Like other malware, Ransomware attacks your computer through infected software and other attachments. Usually, the person behind the ransomware embed the codes in safe files, and you do allow the virus into your system when you accept the infected files into your computer.

However, ransomware takes a different approach after entering your computer. Instead of causing a bug or corrupting your files as other malware does, it encrypts them, locks you out and demands a ransom. You can now see why this malware is regarded as ransomware. The primary intent is to get money from its victims fraudulently. The attackers won’t release your data until you pay a ransom.

Still, puzzled about what ransomware entails? Here it is—this malware affects your system through phishing—emails and other methods. Once it finds its way into your system, it takes over your sensitive data and denies you access. This is followed by an on-screen notification asking you to pay a certain amount of money before your computer and data are released to you.

Most victims of ransomware have to pay the money before recovering their data.

Is Ransomware a New Malware?

Before the introduction of ransomware, other malware such as worms, Trojans and viruses were already in existence. However, available facts say ransomware has been around since 1989 but didn’t attract public attention until the mid-2000s when the first lethal attack was launched. This attack targeted more of healthcare industries and carted away huge sums from victims.

From the analysis, it’s not entirely wrong to say ransomware is a new malware. Though it’s been there for long, the major attacks started in the mid-2000s.

Since, then more and more ransomware attacks have affected both individuals, businesses and government parastatals.

Why is it Difficult to Fish Out Ransomware Criminals?

Virtually everyone that hears about a cyber-attack that involves a ransom may think the culprits can be traced through the payment. But this has never happened. Ransomware assailants have continued to carry out successful attacks without traces, making it more worrisome to everyone, especially business owners.

But why is it so? The method of payment is one that leaves no traces. Almost all ransomware attacks are paid via Bitcoin. As you may know, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency–not regulated by the government or any third party. More so, the system allows anonymous transactions, which doesn’t record the identity of the users. This makes it hard to know those behind ransomware attacks.

Who is a Target of Malware?

Anyone can become a target. Ransomware attackers focus more on data-driven companies. Individuals who are figureheads in such companies are also targets of ransomware. So, both businesses, government and individuals are targets of ransomware attacks.

What is the Way Out?

The only way out is to prevent ransomware attacks. Understanding how ransomware spreads can help you avoid its strikes.

As you may know, ransomware is spread through malicious codes, and these codes are hosted by software and attachments. You should be careful about opening any attachment sent to you via emails. Also, avoid downloading cracked software and do not use untrusted websites.

Social engineering is another method of spreading malware. Ensure you scrutinize any message that includes attachment before you open.

Other than the above, you want to ensure you keep to cybersecurity best practices:

  • Update your operating system and all applications always
  • Use strong passwords
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi
  • Get the best antivirus
  • Use different passwords for different accounts
  • Enable two-step authentication for your online accounts
  • Ensure your staff are trained and retrained on cybersecurity ethics

More so, you need an advanced security system to stop difficult to block malware. Ransomware and other fileless malware are usually deceptive and may bypass antiviruses. Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) can help you defend against such malware as the system uses top security technology like AI, IoT, etc., to spot and block troublesome malware.

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What is Ransomware Attack?

what encryption algorithm does Killdisk ransomware use

In June 2019, major news houses headlined an attack on the Baltimore city government. This wasn’t a physical attack but a cyber-attack. Their entire systems were held hostage—restricting access to sensitive data and requesting a ransom before the restriction would be lifted. The attack lasted for over a month before they regained access to their systems after spending more than $18 million. This is a typical example of a ransomware attack.

So, what is a ransomware attack?

A ransomware attack is a modernized version of the everyday cyber-attacks. Unlike other malware attacks that steal your information or entirely damage your data, the criminals behind ransomware are on a mission to deceitfully or forcefully get money from their victims.

One can fall victim to a ransomware attack by opening an attachment with malicious code or downloading infected software. This is usually through phishing scam—spread via emails, calls, and maybe SMS. They’d broadcast emails with contaminated attachments. These emails may read like they’re coming from any of your service providers, business associates, clients, etc. Opening the link automatically installs the ransomware malware on your PC, which launches the attack after that.

Can Antivirus Combat Ransomware Attacks?

Over the years, antiviruses have been used to detect and block malware. So, yes, antiviruses can help you prevent ransomware attacks. However, you need the best antivirus that can withstand the deceitful nature of the ransomware malware.

Not sure how to find the best antivirus? It’s okay to get confused as there are a lot out there. Here is how you can find the best antivirus:

Go for Premium Versions

Not everyone can afford a premium antivirus, but if you have sensitive data and care about safety, you need a premium antivirus. This doesn’t mean free antiviruses are not active, but they do not contain all the necessary features. If you’re a business owner or individual with sensitive data, investing in a premium security system is worth it. It’s way better than struggling to recover your data after being hit by a malware attack.

User Opinions

If you are ready to get the best antivirus, seeking users’ opinions can help you find the best out there. This is more like a rule of thumb when looking for a new service product, views from past or existing users can help you make an excellent decision. You can find users’ opinions on cyber-security forums online and public reviews websites. Here are some of the sites that can give you the best suggestions:

Reddit: You will find a lot of sub-groups here. Navigate to a related forum and read up the threads on there. If you can’t find one that directly addresses your needs, you can ask questions and wait for responses. You will surely get enough feedback from users.

Quora: Quora is a popular question and answer website. You can type your question on Google and add Quora before hitting the search button. You’d find similar questions and answers. If you can’t find any thread with your kind of question, you can start a thread with your issue and wait for answers.

Trustpilot: This is a public review website. Many vendors are listed there with feedback from customers about their services. You can search for any antivirus software provider there to see what users are saying about the service.

You can also check Google business pages of various antivirus software providers to read reviews from users. This should help you find the best

Test the Antivirus

If you’ve finally gotten the antivirus, you want to test it to confirm its effectiveness before relying on it to protect your devices. There are various methods of testing an antivirus; let’s consider one of them:

Using the EICAR File

This file appears like malware to antiviruses, but it is just a test tool and won’t harm your computer. To test an antivirus, start by downloading the EICAR file. Download here. If your antivirus automatically blocks the download or warns that you’re about to download an infected file, that shows the antivirus is active.

What if Antivirus Fails?

Malware can still infect a computer even with the most reliable antivirus. This is because most cybercriminals have devised more advanced methods to bypass traditional security systems. Fileless malware and other advanced malware like ransomware are often difficult to block by antiviruses and firewalls. In this case, advanced endpoint protection is what you need.

Advanced endpoint protection is an advanced security system that uses cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, etc., to block advanced threats. While antivirus can help combat some malware attacks, it doesn’t work for all. You should get other top security systems to keep your computer and data protected.

If you’re not sure how advanced endpoint protection works, click here to learn more.

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.

Is Ransomware Over?

cybersecurity

The WannaCry attack announced to the general audience a new threat—ransomware.

With the damages it caused, from hundreds of companies to government agencies, the attack took its victims millions of dollars to repair. For organizations like the NHS, it was irreparable damage as around $115m was lost, and over 19,000 appointments were canceled.

The global outcry in 2017 was loud enough to cause panic among businesses and government firms.

However, there was no massive attack in 2018 and 2019, at least that deserved media attention. So, is it safe to say ransomware is over?

How Common Is Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware attacks happen every day. However, unlike the WannaCry attack, most are isolated cases that don’t get enough media attention.

In 2015, there were just 3.8 million global ransomware attacks. That figure increased by over a hundredfold in 2016 to about 638 million attacks. Although the number fell to 187.9 million in 2019, that’s a far cry from what it was in 2015.

The attacks over the years have been more targeted. The year 2017 was the first time a cyberattack group mainly targeted consumers.

The spread of cryptocurrency made it possible to target individuals.

Let’s take a look at some of the most recent cases of ransomware attacks.

Florida Cities Attack

In 2019, two Floridian cities, Lake City and Riviera Beach, fell victim to ransomware attackers. The attackers held on to the information of thousands of the cities’ residents.

They had to pay the ransom to get access to their data. For Lake City, the attackers took out online credit card payment, email, and landline phone systems. Even after paying the ransom of $460,000 in Bitcoin, the hackers refused to release the digital keys to Lake City.

Riviera Beach on the other hand was lucky but had to cough out $600,000 in Bitcoin to get access to their information.

US School Districts Attack

Ransomware attackers have also targeted school districts. The attacks were severe that it caused delays in school resumptions in three states, New York, Connecticut, and Arizona.

The 1039 schools that fell victim to the attackers were in 72 school districts spread all over the United States. Of the 72 districts attacked, 11 happened between the end of October and December 2019. November was the worst month as 9 school districts were attacked in that month.

Most school districts stood their grounds, but Port Neches-Groves, a small independent school district, ended up paying the ransom.

A year earlier, about 119-12K schools were victims of ransomware.

The VCPI Nursing Data Breach

Ransomware attackers target almost anyone. Virtual Care Provider Inc., a Milwaukee based IT company that provides Data storage, Internet access, IT consulting, and security services, became part of a growing number of health care provider assisters that are victims of ransomware.

The attackers deprived VCPI access to their clients’ information and critical services. They demanded a ransom of $14 million.

Reports say the owner, Karen Christianson, said the attack could result in the closure of the business and death of some senior citizens, especially those living in a nursing home that depended on VCPI.

However, VCPI finally rebuilt its systems, but the damage was already done.

Energias de Portugal Data Attack

Attackers also targeted and encrypted the systems of Energias de Portugal, the world’s 4th largest producer of wind energy.

Although Energias de Portugal, EDP, claimed that their critical systems were not affected, the EDP Online Customer area and the service line had limited access. EDP said they reported the incident to authorities.

The attackers demanded $10.9 million in Bitcoin and threatened to release 10 TB of documents to the public.

How Does Ransomware Concern You?

You can be a victim of ransomware if you do not take the necessary precautions. Although most ransomware attacks don’t target individuals, WannaCry is an instance where they can.

Besides, since most ransomware attacks go unreported, ransomware attackers might target you too. This is not to alarm you but to make you understand the severity of ransomware. Ransomware attackers are bad actors without conscience.

If you run an organization, you should ensure your security architecture is up to date and avoid unquestionable activities online.

Is Ransomware Attack Over?

With the recent trends, you can see that ransomware attack is not declining; but on the rise. Although the numbers show that it is low compared to that of 2016, you should protect your system to avoid any form of attack, even.

Since ransomware malware is a sophisticated malware that tricks antiviruses and other traditional security systems, businesses can breach security gaps with advanced endpoint protection. Go here to learn more about advanced endpoint protection.

What’s Ransomware?

how-ransomware-wannacry-works

In 2017, hundreds of thousands of personal computers running Microsoft Windows fell victim to malware. The malware needed the user to pay $300 in bitcoin to be able to access their files.

That malware was WannaCry, which is a type of ransomware. Estimates of the damage it caused were about $4b, according to reports.

So, what’s ransomware?

Ransomware is simply a software made with malicious intent to deny users access to their computer systems until a certain amount of money is paid. It can be frustrating to deal with ransomware.

Over the years, ransomware has become commonplace. Analysis of hundreds of ransomware attacks shows ransomware falls into two categories.

Crypto Ransomware

The most common type of ransomware is crypto-ransomware. This type of ransomware attack happens when the malware encrypts users’ files and demands a ransom before the data will be decoded.

The files are usually encoded in a format that most applications can’t access. Jigsaw, an infamous ransomware, encrypts and deletes victims’ files every hour. It also ensures that users won’t be able to shut down as 1000 files will be deleted if they attempt to shut down.

Locker Ransomware

Locker ransomware is less common. It can also be as destructive as its crypto cousin.

This ransomware denies its victim access to their computer or a computer network. To gain access to the system, the victim will have to pay a certain amount of money.

If you’re a member of a network of computers, it’s common to also be a victim of locker ransomware.

How Ransomware Happens

There are several ways ransomware gets into your computer systems. The most common way for your computer to be infected with ransomware is from infected files on the internet. Here is a detailed look:

By Clicking Links with Malicious Content

The most common way of being a victim of a ransomware attack is to click suspicious links. Usually, what most ransomware attackers do is to send emails with links that will infect your computer.

With social networks and text messages enabling link clicking, it’s easy to click a link that can infect your computer with ransomware.

Downloading Infected Files

Another way a ransomware attack infects your device is to embed an infected file in either email or a website. When you download the file, the malware gets installed and ready to carry out its acts.

Some might not explicitly tell you to download a file. For instance, some websites might ask you to enable notifications. In guise, what the foul website does is to download malware into your computer. From there, it encrypts your files and holds your computer to a ransom.

From an Infected Network

You can also be a victim of ransomware from a network you’re connected to. For instance, a computer network might already be compromised. Connecting to that network might cause the attackers to download malicious files to your computer and compromise your system.

Some attackers also lurk around public Wi-Fi, looking for victims. If you connect to that Wi-Fi without a secure firewall or security software, you might become a ransomware victim.

How to Prevent Ransomware

The best way to prevent ransomware attacks is to avoid opening infected files, software or using public networks. Always Examine links before clicking.

There are many unpleasant websites that promise free stuff. Some might ask you to play a strange game. Most of them are malicious websites and can install dangerous files into your device. You should avoid such websites.

However, it’s difficult to entirely prevent clicking of infected links, especially if you’re a business owner with several employees. What to do? Cybersecurity can help.

Install a Solid Antivirus

Antiviruses are generally known to protect against malware. Getting an active antivirus is, therefore, a good step in preventing malware attacks.

Update Your Operating System and Software

Make sure your operating system is updated from time to time. The WannaCry problem was solved on most computers by installing a patch from Microsoft. Essential apps like browsers and media viewers should be updated as they can be a carrier for ransomware.

Use Strong Passwords

Make your password hard to guess and unpredictable. Avoid using your date of birth or names as a password. These terms are easy to guess.

You should also change your passwords from time to time.

Use Advanced Endpoint Protection

Attackers are losing sleep to ensure they make progress—this is evident in the emergence of advanced malware that evades antivirus and other traditional security systems. You need advanced endpoint protection to protect your computer against notorious malware like ransomware.

Advanced endpoint protection is specially designed to tackle advanced threats. It uses high proactive technology like IoT, AI, and others to detect and block both files and fileless malware.

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How Does the Ransom Virus Work?

How Does the Ransom Virus Work?

Ransomware has been in the news, and chances are you’ve heard about the damage it does to businesses and individuals. So, are you wondering how the ransom virus works? That’s the ransomware, of course! Before we go into that, let’s attempt to clear the puzzle about Ransomware being a virus or malware.

Is ransomware a virus? Most people commonly refer to the everyday malware attack as a computer virus. It is a common term used to describe an infected computer by malicious codes. While that appears to be an acceptable way of passing the message about such attacks, most malware programs aren’t viruses. And as you may know, ransomware is a type of malware.

How Does the Ransom Virus Work?

What is a computer virus? A computer virus is a type of malware that infects your computer through other programs. It inserts its code into other applications and self-replicates on your computer. With this, it’s capable of corrupting or destroying your computer files.

On the one hand, malware is a general term for all malicious codes and software, regardless of how it attacks your computer, intent, or mode of spreading.

So, ransomware isn’t a virus, but a different type of malware, just like the virus is a type of malware. Ransomware focuses on encrypting your data, denying you access to them until you pay the requested ransom.

Curious to learn more about ransomware malware? Let’s get into it!

How Does Ransomware Malware Work?

As you already know, ransomware malware is a type of malware that takes over your system, blocks you from accessing vital data, and requests a ransom before your computer is freed. The intent is to get money from the victim fraudulently and not to harm data.

It is spread through phishing, social engineering, and fishy websites. For phishing, the person behind the ransomware would send emails with fake identities. This is to trick you into opening a link that may come with the email. They may mimic your physician, bank account officer, and other services you use. Clicking or downloading any attachment automatically welcomes the malware to your computer.

Like emails, ransomware attackers also use social media to send fake messages with malicious codes. The same applies to unsafe websites though a bit different. For websites, you may stumble on a fishy site that may display a pop-up — asking you to update an outdated software or enter a promotion. You do welcome the ransomware on your computer by doing any of the above.

When the malware gets to your computer, it isn’t a ransomware attack yet, until it encrypts your data and places a request for payment before you regain access to the files. Most victims do realize of a ransomware attack at this stage. The malware is quite deceptive, and your traditional security system can hardly detect them.

Who is a Target of Ransomware?

In recent years, most of the attacks have been focused on the healthcare industry, law firms, schools, and government agencies. The attackers target those institutions that need their data for daily operations and can’t operate without data. However, ransomware attackers do target individuals who own data-driven companies too. So, both the government, individuals and businesses are targets of ransomware.

Should You Pay the Ransom?

The state of your ceased data should determine how you respond to a ransomware attack. You may want to refuse to pay the ransom if your encrypted data is backed up, and you’re sure of a successful recovery. Otherwise, you want to play along with the criminal’s requirements.

Also, if your ceased data aren’t important, you may want to let them go and reformat your systems. However, records of ransomware attacks show that the attackers are quite tactical and ensure they encrypt your most essential data. The best thing is to avoid ransomware attacks.

How to Prevent Ransomware

Preventing a ransomware attack is the same process as avoiding any malware attack. You should:

  • Always update all your applications and operating system
  • Use strong passwords and do not use the same passwords for all accounts
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi
  • Avoid downloading from untrusted websites
  • Do not open emails attachment from senders you don’t know
  • Use antivirus on your computer
  • Use advance endpoint protection

Wrapping Up

Note that some malware such as fileless malware and ransomware do bypass antiviruses. You need advanced endpoint protection to prevent advanced threats. This security system uses advanced technologies like IoT, AI, etc., to detect and block sophisticated malware.

If you’re not sure how advanced endpoint protection works, click here to learn more.

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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