What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a software that steals data from computers and does not let the owner retrieve it until the money is paid. Ransom is ran by computer criminals that threatens to delete files unless the owner pays them. Jose Pagliery a CNN article writer says,“Ransomware hackers are rarely identified -- and almost never caught”. Computer criminals just get the money demanded to the victims and vanishes with no traces. School director Charles Hucks explains how he dealt with ransomware and what he did. The school chose to pay the money that was being asked for. SLPL ( St.Louis Public Library) also experienced the same thing. According to Threatpost an online news article, “Library management refused to pay the $35,000 demanded as ransom, and IT staff wiped affected servers and restored them from available backups.” Because they refused to pay all of their data was deleted. Luckily Charles Hucks was able to retrieve his data by paying. This does not always work because sometimes the data gets deleted before they pay.
How do victims deal with Ransomware?
Often times people deal with ransomware by paying the amount of money the computer criminals ask for. Paul Ducklin a writer for SOPHOS states, “a typical price point around $300 to $600.” This is the average amount that they ask for, some computer criminals have asked for over a thousand. When paying for the data back, victims have to pay it through Bitcoins. “ Bitcoin, the cryptographic digital currency based on Blockchain distributed ledger technology.” states Danny Palmer a writer, from ZDNet. In other words bitcoin is a non traceable way of sending and receiving payments.
What is the history of ransomware?
Ransomware is not something new;people’s computers has been infected with ransomware throughout many years. According to Ryan Francis and online article writer he states, “According to publicly available information, ransomware infections have outnumbered data breaches 7,694 to 6,013 over the past 11 years.” This computer viruses has grown into a bigger problem throughout the years. In September of 2013 is when ransomware blew up. According to Stu Sjouwerman a internet security blogger , stated September 2013 is when ransomware went pro. Although this wasn't the first ransomware to occur it’s the first to have caught people's attention. Ransomware is dangerous and is still going on today.
How do you prevent ransomware from occurring?
Ransomware can be prevented in many ways. One of the most basic ways is to prevent it is to backup your data. According to Robert Lemos ,a writer for PC World, he states “ Companies who are doing backups on-premise should make sure they can recover an image of the data for months in the past and keep multiple copies.” Having backed up files are helpful when dealing with ransomware. Files will still be safe and recoverable. Dan Raywood an online newspaper writer from Computer weekly states “Other advice includes storing backups in an offline environment because many ransomware variants will try to encrypt data on connected network shares and removable drives.” Backing up your data onto and offline software could save your files. Although you can not get it back from the computer criminal , there is still a chance you can still have a backuped data.
How does ransomware get onto your device?
The riskiest way that ransomware can get onto computers is from being on a third party website. According to Dan Goodin, a security editor at Ars Technica he states, “Uninstalling things like Adobe Flash, Oracle Java, Microsoft Silverlight, and other third-party browser extensions unless absolutely required. Third party websites are risky they’re like open doors to ransomware.” Not only does ransomware occur on the computers, it can occur on your phone. Unlike protected Apple products ,Android are not protected. Ransomware can occur on your phone through third party apps. Christian Crawley a Linux editor states “ It is from unknown sources that ransomware can end up on your Android device, whether from online downloads or from otherwise helpful third party app stores that provide an alternative to Google Play. “ Ransomware can occur randomly at any time , so stay protected !