A Brief Guide to Understanding and Preventing Ransomware

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You may have heard of cyber-attack, well ransomware is one of its types. Ransomware is a malicious application that provides access to your system or files and blocks user access to them. Then your files or even devices are held hostage using encryption until a victim pays a ransom in exchange. Ransomware has been going around for decades. It is one of the greatest threats to businesses and individuals these days.

 

How does ransomware work?

It is used for extorting businesses or individuals for financial gain. For the program to gain access to the files, it occurs through infection and attack vectors. You can describe malware and virus software as a biological illness. Like in medical terms, carriers of harmful pathogens are called vectors; in ransomware, entry points are also called a vector.

Another way a ransomware user can access your files is by messaging on social media. One of the most used platforms for this purpose is Facebook Messenger. Assailants create an account that mimics a user’s current friends. Using those accounts, they send messages with file attachments. When you open the files, ransomware can access your system and lockdown networks connected to the infected device.

 

Prevention:

There are some ways you can prevent getting attacked by ransomware. Make sure to clean your browser of junk toolbars to prevent adware invasions that could lead to infections. When working in an organization, make a list of approved and safe applications that can be used. Avoid installing any software unless you precisely know about it.

Use an antivirus program in your system to detect any ransomware as soon as they arrive. For your emails, you can use a filtering service; it will see malicious attachments. Secure your files by creating three backup copies on two different types of media. Store one copy off-site on an air-gapped device that is not networked or accessible over the internet. If you don’t know how to save your computer from ransomware, you can hire a professional to deal with it.

 

How to Remove Ransomware from Your System?

You can remove many viruses of ransomware without losing your files. The steps you take to remove the virus depends on the type of invader. Some files require a simple virus scan to filter it, and some may require offline scans to recover your files.

After the invasion, if your computer is still accessible, you can use the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free program to remove CryptoLocker and similar ransomware viruses.

If you cannot access your computer, you will need to start in Windows Safe Mode. To use this mode, restart your system and press the F8 key. Then with the use of arrow keys to select Safe Mode with Command Prompt. A text cursor will appear, type rstrui.exe, and press the Enter key. It will lead to a Windows System Restore screen with lists of saved points within Windows from an earlier time. Choose a restore date from a time before your system was infected with the virus, then restore your computer to this time. Finally, download an antivirus program and scan your computer for any infections.

 

Types of Ransomware:

Scareware:

The simplest type of ransomware bogus consists of antivirus or clean-up tools that claim they have detected issues and demand you to pay to fix them. This type of ransomware doesn’t block your system but bombards it with alerts and pop-ups. They can be eradicated from your system quickly.

Screen Lockers:

The second type of ransomware doesn’t give you access to your system anymore. It blocks it by displaying a full-size window. This window opens with an FBI or Department of Justice logo, which states that you must pay a fine for law violation.

Encrypting Ransomware:

The third type of ransomware is the most dangerous one because no security software or system restore can return the files to you. It blocks your access to your files until you pay up. But these files can be recovered even if you haven’t backed up your files.