How To Detect Ransomware
In recent years, ransomware attacks have increased to a large extent. Now ransomware is one of the most widespread cyber attacks in the world- disrupting businesses of all sizes and blocking individual users from accessing their computers.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that once executed on a host computer, prevents the user from using the computer or the data stored in it - demanding ransom (a sum of money) for restoring the computer.
The three major mechanisms by which ransomware hinder computer operation are:
- By blocking access to the victim's computer, this form of ransomware is known as 'Locker ransomware.'
- By making user data unusable or indecipherable by means of encryption algorithms. This type of ransomware is known as 'Crypto ransomware.'
- Another mechanism combines both the Locker and Crypto ransomware- blocking the victim from using their computer while their data is being encrypted.
- Between these two types of ransomware, Crypto ransomware is the most destructive one since it uses strong encryption algorithms. It is often impossible to decrypt (restore) the Crypto ransomware-infected computer and files without paying the ransom.
- Unlike the Crypto ransomware, computers infected with the Locker ransomware can be restored with some technical know-how. Due to this, cybercriminals are using Crypto ransomware instead of Locker ransomware.
- Ransomware attacks capitalize on the fear factor of the victims. In most cases of ransomware attacks, the victim’s computer gets infected through phishing emails or direct downloads. Once gaining control of the victim's computer, the attacker (creator of ransomware) uses scare tactics for extorting money from the victim.
How To Detect Ransomware- Detection Mechanisms
The most common mechanisms used by security products to detect ransomware are:
- Static or Signature-based Analysis
- Dynamic or Behavioural-based Analysis
#Static or Signature-based Analysis
In the static-based analysis, an unknown application’s (potential ransomware) code is analyzed before its execution. This is to determine if it is capable of any malicious activities. If there is a presence of malicious code, the unknown application will be stopped from executing or launching.
In this signature analysis, code string patterns (signatures) of the unknown application are extracted and compared to a repository of known malicious code patterns.
This type of ransomware detection relies on an enormous repository of malicious code signatures. If the repository lacks the code string patterns from a new variant of ransomware, then that ransomware can go undetected in the host system.
#Dynamic or Behavioral-based Analysis
In the dynamic-based analysis, ransomware detection involves the live monitoring of system processes. This is to detect processes that are behaving with malicious intent. If any process is found behaving maliciously, it will be flagged as dangerous and terminated.
The key difference between signature-based analysis and behavioral-based analysis is the point at which inference is made. Static analysis infers a threat level from the observed binary file; dynamic behavior, on the other hand, infers a threat level from observed behavior.
The best way to detect ransomware is to use a reputed antivirus program such as Comodo Antivirus. Comodo Antivirus allows you to run any unknown applications with zero risks of infection. So, if you have highly sensitive data, Comodo antivirus will safeguard your data.
For organizations, Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) would be ideal. Comodo AEP offers all-around protection across devices and OS platforms.
With a built-in containment engine and 'Default Deny' platform, Comodo AEP provides 360-degree protection against any malware threat including ransomware.
Comodo AEP includes antimalware, antivirus, and firewall along with a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS). It prevents ransomware attacks by examining and sandboxing suspicious apps and processes.