You open up your computer only to find that you can't access any of your personal data or files. You then get a message stating that your information is being held for ransom, and you must pay a seemingly ridiculous amount of money to get the "key" to unlock and recover your data.
This is nightmare scenario that plays out everyday on computer screens everywhere across our country. In this post, we will identify what ransomware is and what you can do if you ever find yourself in this situation.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Normally, Ransomware is aimed at vulnerable individuals, but it is only a matter of time before businesses are targeted as well. Ransomware will restrict users’ access to their computer until a ransom is paid to unlock the system.
Ransomware has recently become more of a problem for computer users as people are hacking systems looking to make a quick buck. Ransomware attacks are no longer targeted at individuals; there's an ever growing criminal enterprise that targets health care facilities, financial institutions, and more. A recent study conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that the total cost of these attacks will end up costing the global economy up to 6 trillion annually by 2021.
Ransomware plays on our fears of not being able to access our personal data...or that our personal information will be sold to the highest bidder. Paying the ransom for the access token may feel like the only option, the long term effect of doing so is the funding of this new daily cyber threat.
How to Prevent Ransomware?
Now that we know what Ransomware is, and understand the threat it poses to not just individuals but larger institutions as well, we can begin to determine how to prevent ransomware. The first, and simplest step, is to back up all of your files consistently! This is of utmost import as it guarantees you'll have a safe and secure back up in the event of a ransomware attack, or other disaster. Every business, from small to large corporations, should have a ransomware remediation plan.
If you or your company is a victim of a ransomware attack, hire a professional ransomware removal expert. These professionals, like V-Tec Pro Stop, can not only recover your files, but then help you identify, strategize, and implement a secure network architecture to prevent future attacks.
How to Remove Ransomware?
The quick and easy solution is not always the best option. It may feel like the easy route to take is to pay the ransom and regain access to your files and data. However, if you instead enlist the help of a ransomware removal expert, you very well could avoid having to pay the ransom altogether. Professional ransomware removal services help people everyday recover their files without having to be the outrageous prices demanded by the attackers.
How to Identify a Ransomware Attack?
It's not like the movies; you're not going to see a mocking face laughing at you or some sort of demon on the screen. In fact, some of the error messages you may see will say “Unknown file type” or “Windows can't open this file.” On a MAC you may see “No associated application” or “There is no application set to open this file.” After all of these messages you will then see the dreaded message: “Your files are encrypted.” You will now know for sure you have been infected by ransomware.
The steps in a typical run of the mill ransomware attack are normally as follows:
- Infection- The ransomware will install itself on the endpoint and any network devices it can access.
- Secure Key Exchange- Ransomware will contact the command and control server which is operated by the cybercriminals who then will generate the cryptographic keys to be used within the system.
- Encryption- Ransomware will start encrypting any file it can that is on your server.
- Extortion- This is the part where they send you their demands and threats
- Unlocking- If you have a professional who is handling this then you should more than likely be fine with no profit loss. If you pay the fee only 42% of organizations actually got their files back.
V-Tec Pro Stop: Ransomware Removal Experts in Maryland
Ransomware is something we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies. Lucky for you, we are the experts at removing ransomware from computers and networks, so you can get back to work and recover your data safely. Remember, if you are a victim of a ransomware attack, DO NOT pay the ransom; contact V-Tec Pro Stop and we'll remove the ransomware, recover your data, and help you prevent future attacks from happening.