If the bad guys had to find one stock to play in the malware stock market. They found it! It’s called Ransomware!
Ransomware is a type of virus that encrypts your harddrive and holds you hostage. If you pay the ransom, the attacker will release information on your computer. To make this even more complicated, the user has to pay via Bitcoins ( a form of digital currency) and use Tor ( a second form of network where Anonymity is main purpose) which makes it extremely hard (read impossible) to track the attacker down.
If you decide not to pay, the data on your computer becomes useless. There is no way to clean it, or decode it, not even NSA can help you!
There were damages resulting of $30 million in 2014 and between 2015 and now the number is at $325 million!!! Holy Macro! Thats a lot of money.
The major vectors for this virus have been around forever: Spearphishing emails, Malicious Ads on Web sites, use of exploit kits. On the opposite, its easy to defend for: Proper user education, running anti-malware on your pc (I recommend MalwareBytes Endpoint Security) and patching your system with the latest updates.
The final defense and probably the most important is to have frequent backups of your system, both availabe to you and offline (stored in a different location). You should also successfully restore the backup to verify its integrity. For my go to remote backups I use Carbonite.
I’ve included an infographic on Ransomware, feel free to save and share.
Thanks again for visiting the blog!