Ever since the advent of mankind people have never witnessed the huge amount of extortion as they are today. In recent years, Cyber attacks that disturbed IT administrations and PCs, It is indispensable that clients know about potential shortcomings in their organization’s IT systems and are set up against approaching threats. The ascend in digital crime is definitely increased and its hard to get exact measures about the number of digital crime incidents. Cybercriminals are getting clever and cunning day by day. Understanding the risks and avoiding harm. Using the Internet has turned into an integral part of life in the advanced world.
This article sheds light on the basics of ransomware and the objective of this article is to gain an insight into the overall functioning of ransomware followed by the preventive measures to protect against it.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware can be defined as a type of malware is crucially take control over a PC and restrict clients from getting access to information on PC until a ransom is paid. In most cases, The software taints or damage PC links or through an attachment of malevolent messages known as phishing emails. Once the client taps on the connection and open the report, Their PC is contaminated and the software takes over. It requests clients pay bitcoin to recover the documents.
For those with a lesser understanding of technology, Ransomware is a malicious software which is installed in a system through visiting a malevolent or destructive website, malicious software download and an email attachment and link to block access of the legitimate users to a computer system until a Ransome money is paid.
Type of Ransomware
The two most common type of ransomware is Crypto ransomware and locker ransomware
Crypto-ransomware is a sort of damaging program that encodes records and data stored on a PC with the intention to blackmail for ransom. Once the ransomware penetrates the victim’s gadget, the malware quietly distinguishes and encrypts profitable records. It’s intended to block system files and request Ransom to give the victim the key that can decrypt the blocked substance. Crypto ransomware commonly incorporates a period constraint.
In simple language it is basically hostage or kidnaps the documents, requesting a payoff in return for the decoding key expected to restore the records.
Lockers Ransomware is also called computer locker, which locks the victim out of the operating system, making it impossible to access the desktop and any applications or files. This ransomware doesn’t encode the documents of the victim however rather, it denies the entrance to the gadget and the attackers ask for a ransom to unlock the infected computer.
For Example- Victim got a message from attacker which said the clients were associated with unlawful movement, for example, pornography, programming theft and piracy and so on, and they could pay fine to keep away from the legal action.
Working of Ransomware
The cybercriminals behind ransomware don’t especially mind who their casualties are, all just they care about they will pay the payment. if the attacker will get a payment from a small proportion of victim. It encourages them to plan more attacks that could make the plan advantageous. The major target of ransomware is Finance sector, IT organization, Educational Institute, Healthcare and Government organization.
There is some common type which is used by an attacker to penetrate the system of victims like Spam and social engineering, Direct drive-by-download, Malware installation tools and botnets, Phishing emails etc.
Let’s look at the scenario and know how actually ransomware works step by step:
- A user gets an email that materializes the way it is from the legitimate sender which is basically a social engineering technique.
- The email contains a link which directs the user to the website which appears to be a reliable site.
- Page start loading and exploit kits starts spreading to the casualty machine.
- Once the loopholes will confirm the kit endeavors to exploit the weakness.
- The ransomware searches for valuable data to encrypt, both on the local computer and the network-accessible resources.
- The discovered files are encrypted and the malware sends the encryption key.
- The server then generates or send the ransom note to the victim.
Ransomware has ended up being a lucrative industry for the cybercriminal. Its influenced the law enforcement to collaborate with international agencies to cut down these criminals. Mostly ransomware attack that has occurred to poor security practices by representatives like malicious software. The motivation behind this product is to blackmail the victim.
let’s see what countermeasures that users should employ to ensure a higher level of defense against this malware. It will help users keep ransomware from their computer.
- Avoid paying ransom because It only encourages the criminals and what if after paying the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will be able to regain access to your files.
- While using public wireless Internet always ensure to use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi.
- Always up-to-date software with relevant patches because patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent compromises via exploit kits.
- The good backup can help to recover quickly without paying the ransom and restoration of your files from a backup is the fastest way to regain access to your data.
- Isolate ransomware malware to keep them from spreading.
- Avoid opening attachments that look suspicious and avoid clicking malicious links or attachments.
- Block malevolent Tor IP addresses.
- Adopt best security policy.
Author: Jharna Bhoyar
Jharna Bhoyar is an Information Security Researcher, pursuing her Masters in Cyber Law and Information Security from National Law Institute (NLU) University. She is a keen learner & passionate about exploring new technologies.