What is a Ransomware Virus
Every new day brings new challenges for internet security guys. As technology is gettings more and more advanced the type of threats are also changing and becoming more and more sophisticated. Since the day when the first computer virus was made, every day thousands of new viruses are produced by the bad guys. A new generation of computer virus programs is now attacking users computers and mobiles. This type of computer virus is known as Ransomware virus. It works by using a unique data encryption technique to encrypt files on victim’s computer or mobile. Hackers then demand money from the victim, and after getting the money, they decrypt data.
This new generation of computer virus is known as Ransomware virus. The idea is similar to what the criminals use in real life to kidnap someone for blackmailing or demand money to release the victim. Although Ransomware virus was introduced many years ago, but they became more popular in 2012-2013. The first ransomware was invented at Columbia University by Yung and Young in 1996. Ransomware is not limited to computers only, and it affects other devices like mobiles and tablets also.
What is WannaCry Virus
WannaCry is also a modern Ransomware which was released in early 2017. The first version was not successful to make any damage. The second version of WannaCry Ransomware was released in early May 2017. It was the deadliest one. It attacked at a massive scale and targeted thousands of computers all over the world.
Tips to Stay Safe from WannaCry Ransomware
A major problem with the ransomware virus is that once a computer gets infected it is very difficult to clean the infection. In most of the cases, the victims have no other option other than paying the ransom to access their data. Follow these steps to keep your device safe from WannaCry virus.
- Upgrade your Operating system to the latest version. If you are using Windows 7, 8 then upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. It has been observed that computers running Windows 10 are safe from WannaCry ransomware attack.
- Use the Latest antivirus. You can find some useful free antivirus programs here.
- Use firewall on your computer.
- Never open emails from unknown senders and don’t click on links inside them.
- Never download files from unknown sites or from those sites which offer cracked software. This kind of software always come with viruses.
- If you visit adult sites, then you are at a significant risk of being attacked by viruses.
- If you use USB drives on public computers like libraries, schools and internet cafe then always scan them for viruses before opening them.
How Ransomware Virus works
The working of ransomware is a bit different than other computer virus programs. There are different modes of attack. Some methods only lock the victim’s computer or mobile and ask for money to unlock it. This is the simplest form of Ransomware attack. In most cases, the victim manages to get his computer’s control back without paying any money. But this happens only if the victim has enough skills to break the computer’s password using any tools or methods. In this type of attack, a virus is executed on victim’s computer which encrypts all the files.
The other type of Ransomware attack runs a virus program on victim’s computer which encrypts all the data. This is the most severe form of attack which is very difficult to recover. All the files are encrypted, and the victim cannot view or edit any files. The attackers then blackmail the victim to pay money. Otherwise, they will publish personal data including passwords and pictures on the internet.
Types of Ransomware Virus
Following are some of the common types of Ransomware virus.
- Encrypting Ransomware
- Non-Encrypting Ransomware
- Leakware or Doxware
- Mobile Ransomware
Popular Ransomware Viruses
Here are names of some famous Ransomware viruses. Each breed has its attack strategy.
- WannaCry 2017
How to remove Ransomware
Although it is a difficult process to recover data affected by Ransomware. Data decryption process may take a lot of time and effort also it cost too much money. It also depends how much important that data is for the victim. If there is no sensitive data on the targeted computer than simple formatting the hard disk and reinstalling OS can do the job. To prevent future attacks, an updated antivirus should be used.
There are many companies which offer data decryption services affected by a Ransomware virus. It is always a better choice to hire such companies to recover your data. If you opt to pay hackers the money they demanded from you then there is a high risk that after getting the money they will not encrypt your data. There are also chances that they will ask for more money. So it will end up in a big loss and stress.
Here are some of the popular Ransomware removal tools. These tools are very useful against most of the Ransomware viruses.
- Bitdefender anti-ransomware
- Avast Ransomware Removal
- Malwarebytes ransomware
Now you have enough information about the viruses that compress files and then demand money to restore victim’s data. Share this information with your friends and family to keep them safe from any Ransomware attacks.