How to Protect You and Your Business from Ransomware Attack?
Summary: This article bespeaks of Ransomware, how it attacks, preventive measures you can take to secure your computer, and what steps you can take in case of a Ransomware attack. It also highlights a secure and reliable third-party tool to restore the compromised data.
Ransomware attack is on a rise these days and has victimized several computer users across the globe. It infects files on your computer (mostly Windows) by locking them and then demands a ransom to unlock them. It is a malicious code or a software application containing computer viruses.
Ransomware attack is committed by cyber criminals who send ransomware through the Internet to lock the files on your computer and then demand a ransom to unlock them. It can launch ‘lockscreen attacks’ or ‘data abduction’ on your computer. In the former, the virus or malware changes the credentials to log into computing device while in the latter, the malware encrypts files on the infected device as well as on other devices in the connected network.
Unlike other types of data security exploitations or cyber-extortions, the victims are notified with a message pop up stating that their files have been affected which is then followed by instructions for recovering the locked data or decrypting the files. Here, the instructions also contain a payment message for recovery in virtual currency, thereby, protecting the identity of the wrongdoers.
How Does Ransomware Affect Your Files?
Ransomware virus or malware affect files on your computer and spreads in a number of ways:
What are the types of Ransomware?
The following are some of the common types of Ransomware that can infect your files:
Of all Ransomware types, the one that deserves attention is the WannaCry Ransomware that occurred on 12th May, 2017 affected about 200,000 Windows computer users in 150 countries. It impacted both Individuals as well as small, medium, and large Enterprises. Also, both private and public sector businesses were equally affected. It encrypts data and demands ransom in cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It affects a computer when the user opens a spam email, and once open, it uses EternalBlue exploit and DoublePulsar backdoor to spread through unmapped networks infecting all the exposed systems.
After infecting, it comes up with the following screen on your infected machine:
It also displays a file named ‘!Please Read Me!.txt’ that contains content explaining all that has occurred and how to overcome it by paying the ransom. The ‘!Please Read Me!.txt’ file is displayed below:
Now that you know the details of WannaCry ransomware and how it infects Windows OS, you would definitely wish to know the ways using which you can prevent your system from becoming infected. For this, it is recommended to both individuals and enterprises to apply the following:
Note – Applying the above three patches using the Microsoft’s official Windows Update functionality in Windows OS implies keeping your system up-to-date, thereby, making your system less vulnerable to such attacks.
Other Ways to Prevent WannaCry Ransomware Attack
The following are the ways using which you and enterprises can decrease the occurrences or avoid WannaCry ransomware attack.
How to Protect Yourself from a Ransomware Attack?
Several authorities in the U.S and U.K have issued a guide for both Individuals and Enterprises by which they can remain protect themselves from a ransomware attack or prevent ransomware attacks on their computers. They are as follows:
For Individuals and Small Enterprises:
For Large Enterprises:
What to Do If Attacked by Ransomware?
Ransomware attack is certainly a cause for worry as both Individuals and Enterprises lose access to their files saved on the computer. Nonetheless, the following measures can be taken if one or the other ransomware has already attacked and infected the files on your Windows-based system:
Of all types of Ransomware, the files infected with WannaCry are difficult to recover as they are overwritten with general data and deleted; however, even though you may maintain a backup yet recovery may seem challenging. This is because WannaCry first encrypts your file or makes a copy of the original file and then encrypts it by deleting the original file; therefore, there may be a possibility that your backup files may be infected as well.
Therefore, decrypting the file using conventional methods becomes a far cry. This is when you require a secure and reliable data recovery tool to counter this malware to regain access to your files.
Stellar Windows Data Recovery – Professional Software: The Need of the Hour
Stellar Windows Data Recovery – Professional is an effective tool which not only eliminates the risk but successfully recovers most of your infected data. It safely recovers original files encrypted by WannaCry ransomware.
A viable solution, it possesses the following capabilities —
You are now aware of what Ransomware is, how it affects both Individuals and Enterprises, and the preventive measures you can take to counter them. With Ransomware on an increase and cyber criminals increasingly looking at engulfing the entire Digital Space, you must stay alert and be wary of suspicious activities on your system.