Ransomware is the biggest story in Computer Hacking today. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there is an end in sight. As matter of fact, the hacks seem to be getting more and more sophisticated as the days go by. As long as the reasons for the hacking continues to exist there is no reason to believe that it will end.
The reasons for hacking vary depending on who or what group are doing the hack and for the goal, they are doing it for. By far the biggest reason that these people hack is to make money. This would definitely go long ways in explaining the explosive growth in the use of a very targeted hack and specialized software called ransomware. This malware is extremely dangerous and can literally hold a business or individual’s computer data hostage.
What is ransomware?
All malicious software falls under a category of software called malware and when this malware is introduced into a computer it buries itself into the computer’s registry or file system and waits to be activated. Once it becomes active it locks the user out of their data files by encrypting the data and requiring a specific key that only the hacker knows.
This type of malware gets its name from the fact that the hackers are demanding a ransom be paid or else they will never give up the key and the data will permanently be locked. This has caused a number of businesses to make a difficult decision between paying the money and hope that they will be given the actual unlock key in exchange for a certain amount of money.
Do you have to pay to get your data back?
This particular hack is incredibly sophisticated and it involves the exploiting of the ransomware that was delivered worldwide and infected computers globally in more than 150 countries worldwide. Then all a hacker had to do was identify targets by using a phishing technique and gained access to the target computer or network. Once inside they were able to encrypt the specific data files and locked the user out of the data.
The next step was to contact the user or business and demand payment or risk permanently losing access to the data by refusing to pay the money. However, there truly is no guaranty that even if you pay the money that you will get the key that will unlock your files.
There is something that you can do to mitigate the damage caused to the ransomware before the attack even occurs. If you are currently using a robust backup solution, you would not be in danger of totally losing access to your data. Depending on your backup solution you would be able to restore any of the files that were encrypted from your backup.
Once you have ascertained that you have all of your files intact, you can use one of many tools that are available online for removing the ransomware from any and all computers on your company network or your own home PC. With all that done, it would be wise to re-evaluate your company’s policies regarding computer security and safety to ensure that you have a way to prevent the malware from even getting onto your computer.