Ransomware: How Can You Protect Yourself
Ransomware is a type of computer malware that installs covertly on your computer to execute so called crypto virology attack which adversely affects your machine and demands payment to decrypt it. It is a denial-of-access attack preventing computer users from accessing files since you cannot decrypt them without the decryption key. These types of attacks range from less to more serious.
Simple attacks may just lock the system in a way which may not be difficult to reverse if you are knowledgeable enough, displaying a message requesting payment to unlock it. In a more serious case, your files become encrypted and inaccessible and ransom payment is demanded to decrypt them. In the worst case scenario, the ransomware may even encrypt the computer’s Master File Table (MFT) or the entire hard drive.
Between 2012 and 2014, 5 major ransomware Trojans were released. Their names are Reveton, CryptoLocker, CryptoLocker.F, TorrentLocker and CryptoWall, variants of most of which continue to be a threat.
Currently, there are 10 major existing ransomware threats infecting different computers throughout the world and these are: Tescrypt.E, Tescrypt.D, Locky.A, Locky, Crowti.A, Exxroute.A, Win32/Cerber.A, FakeBsod.A, HTML/Cerber.A and Brolo.C.
The question is then how can you, as a user, mitigate the threat of ransomware attacking your computer and even when it does what measures can you take against it.
Unfortunately, as is the case with other types of malware, security software may not always detect ransomware. Data damages and/or losses can be stopped or greatly reduced if an attack is suspected or detected in its early stages as it takes time for encryption to take place.
The best recipe is of course prevention. As security software cannot always block at least some of this malware or more from launching and infecting your computer, it is advisable to keep backups of your stored data in locations inaccessible to the targeted area or space such as on external storage drives. It is also important that you keep your computer operating system and application software up to date. Another preventative measure constitutes never opening potentially infected spam emails or emails from unknown senders, never downloading attachments from any suspicious emails and never clicking links in spam. Having a traffic-filtering solution can provide proactive anti-ransomware protection.
If your files have been locked by ransomware, at least partial data recovery may be possible with the recovery of the encryption key (a process which may take several days). If the same encryption key is used, decryption tools use files for which there are both uncorrupted backups and encrypted copies.
New software tools intended specifically to deceive, divert and eventually stop ransomware prior to it encrypting files on your computer have recently been developed. These new software tools are specialized applications of deception technology recently available in the summer of 2016.
So at this stage you might ask: what are the best antivirus programs to protect against ransomware and the best ransomware protection currently available? Well, the best antivirus programs that provide ransomware detection and removal offer On Demand Malware Scan, Behavior Based Detection and Malicious URL Blocking.
Some of the most reputable antivirus solutions you may wish to consider are McAfee, Norton and Kaspersky software. Zone Alarm’s Threat Emulation software detects harmful content before you click (solid offense is at times the best defense against ransomware).
Mission Repair Centre Team 🙂