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Ransomware paralyzes personal and business computers. We'll help you deal with the problem.
21.2.2020, Author: František Fridrich, EXALAB Data Recovery
Ransomware is a name derived from the words ransom and software, which in other words means extortion software. It is a malicious software that blocks a computer and asks the user to ransom for restoring data access. Ransomware is not one particular computer virus, but a generic term that probably has many thousands of different mutations and versions.
In recent days, more and more customers have turned to us for help with blocked access to data caused by ransomware. This type of malicious software often targets organizations. For a cyberattacker, organizations are a more interesting target because they can do more damage and demand more money as a ransom for restoring data access. However, personal computers of non-business users are also no exception.
Paying a ransom is not the only solution
Authors of this malicious software often use hard-to-break encryption algorithms, but at other times it can be a solvable problem for a data rescue or data recovery specialist or a specialist of this kind of software problem. If your computer or computers have already been compromised, always consult an expert as a first step. Do not hesitate to contact us, it will save you unnecessary worries and time.
The amount required by the attacker can range from a few tens of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to information from security company Emisoft, a total of 205,280 organizations were attacked in 2019. This alarming figure is 41% higher than it was in 2018. According to security company Coveware, the average ransom required by an attacker to make data available, was $ 190,946. These values were reported by The New York Times.
Payment for data access is always required in some cryptocurrency, most often in Bitcoins. This is an almost completely anonymous method of payment that rules out any possibility for the sender to identify the recipient or claim a refund in any way whatsoever. It is therefore necessary to take into account the possibility that after paying a considerable amount you will never recover the data nor your money.
Prudence and backup is never enough
The best defense against ransomware is, of course, prevention and caution at every step of the virtual world of the Internet. The human factor is a common cause of computer attacks. Just click on the link in the mail to worry. Therefore, always resort to a high quality antivirus software that will warn you of a dangerous link and prevent any kind of malicious software from invading your computer. However, this may not be the case with newly emerging malicious software that is not yet known to antivirus software developers.
Other weaknesses may be outdated or improperly configured hardware (especially for organizations) and outdated software. For example, Windows XP, which was widely used even after years of discontinued support from Microsoft. Now Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows 7 and we are again asked if it is safe to continue using this operating system. Of course it is not. Upgrading to Windows 10 was free, and if the user only uses the computer to browse the Internet, mail and basic office work, then Ubuntu or another Linux distribution may be a good alternative. We could also mention the operating system from Apple and others, but this is not the subject of this article. Also in this area we will be happy to help you, just send a question using the form below.
If you back up important data on a regular basis, despite all other problems and inaccessible data on your computer, you have won. However, here too some rules must be observed. For more information about data backup, see this article.