What is Ransomware?
Cybercriminals use malware that we call ransomware to gain access to your system, steal confidential data, and block your access to the system. If a computer or a network becomes prey to ransomware, you can no longer access a computer and your important files.
Eventually, you have to pay a ransom amount to regain access to your data and unblock your computer. Therefore, to protect your system from ransomware, we strongly recommend you create security awareness across your entire organization and deploy security software. If you don’t pay heed to the potential threat of ransom attack, you will likely spend a considerable cost on it.
Generally, the victims of malware have three options in front of them they can either attempt to remove the malware, pay the ransom, or restart their computer.
Types of Ransomware
There are two most common types of ransomware we are aware of:
- Locker Ransomware
This type of ransomware blocks computer operations. Once your system is infected with this ransomware, you cannot access the desktop, while the mouse and keyboard will be working partially. In this ransomware, you can interact with the window containing a ransom demand along with the guide to make payment?
Moreover, your computer will not be working correctly. However, the silver lining here is that locker malware doesn’t usually target sensitive files; it just wants to block access to a system. Thus, you can rest assured that your system won’t destroy completely in this ransomware.
- Crypto Ransomware
The goal behind the execution of this ransomware is to encrypt your crucial data, predominantly documents, pictures, and videos, but it doesn’t interfere with the basic functioning. This situation will undoubtedly create a threat because your files are inaccessible.
Generally, crypto-ransomware developers incorporate a countdown to their ransom demand “If you don’t pay the ransom amount by the deadlines, all your files will be deleted permanently.”
However, since a vast majority of people aren’t familiar with the cloud-based backup of data or storing sensitive data on an external physical storage device, they’ll end up with severe losses. Consequently, users have no choice other than to pay ransom to regain access to their files.
Examples of Ransomware
So far, we’ve discussed the types of ransomware; now, we’ll move over to the common examples of it.
Locky is a type of ransomware that a group of cyber attackers first coined in 2016. Locky encrypted around 160 files, and it used fake emails coupled with infected attachments to spread
In this ransomware, users were betrayed by email tricks, and they end up installing ransomware on their system. Spreading ransomware through this method is called ‘phishing’ and is the most common form of social engineering. Locky ransomware targets only those files that are deemed insanely necessary by designers, developers, and testers.
WannaCry was amongst the most disastrous ransom attack, and it spread to 150 countries in 2017. It was designed to exploit the security loophole in Windows operating system and by the Shadow Brokers hackers’ group. Even though NASA identified this vulnerability, but black hat hackers used it in their interest.
Using this ransomware, cyber attackers intrude on one-third of all the NHS hospitals in the UK, causing an estimated loss of 92 million pounds.
Ransomware attacks come in different variants. The crucial factor for determining the type of ransomware is an attack vector. To evaluate the size and extend of an attack, you should evaluate the data which could be deleted.