Decoded: All You Need To Know About Ransomware!
Imagine that someone gets access to your laptop’s data without your permission and threatens to make all your private data public while demanding a hefty ransom in order to restore access! Well, your life would turn upside down, right? In simple terms, ransomware is malware that is used to paralyze an entire organization’s databases by getting unauthorized access of the same; it’s practically stealing all your stuff, only the catch being that you can’t see the thief!
How does ransomware works?
Mostly, every organization has an extensive database that encrypts its critical data, but the attackers are quite intelligent, they use a pair of keys to encrypt and decrypt a file. The attacker generates a unique public-private pair of keys to attack the victim’s data, and with the private key, the attacker decrypts the file of the victim and stores it on their server, thereby stealing all the data. The next step is when the attacker demands ransom from the victim in exchange for that private key. The more horrifying fact is that without access to the private key, it is almost impossible to decrypt the files that are stored in the attacker’s server.
Well, we live in a data-driven world, covered with a blanket of numerous technologies. To be honest, our social media accounts say more about our life than our closest friends, so through ransomware, someone else will not only have access to your data but about your life! (shit scared, are you?)
If you think about the ransomware thing on a broader level, the malicious software actually holds all accessed data as hostages, which can create havoc for multi-dollar companies! The riskiest thing about cyber attackers is that they are not trustworthy, so there’s no guarantee that they will restore access to all your files, documents and data after getting the ransom.
Types of ransomware
This type of ransomware can cause a lot of damage since it encrypts things, including folders, files, documents and hard drives. Mostly, attackers use this form of ransomware to target big companies and access the entire database of the company.
This type of ransomware comes in the form of an antivirus or cleaning tool; yeah, you read that right! The scareware claims that it has found some bug issues on your computer or laptop and demands money to fix it. Some scareware can even lock your computer!
RaaS or ‘Ransomware as a service’ is a form of malware that is hosted by a hacker anonymously. From distributing the ransomware, collecting payments, manage data to restoring data access, these hackers do it all! (like a legit service provider!)
Ransomware on mobile devices
Did you think ransomware is only limited to computers and laptops? Well, ransomware began attacking smartphones in 2014. The malware enters your phone through a malicious app, leaving a message that your phone is locked! Well, imagine that in IRL!
This form of malware basically locks you out of your computer so that you can’t access any of your stored data or files. They are primarily android-based.
Can I save my data from ransomware?
Well, we don’t wanna sound too pessimistic! You can save your data from ransomware by following some of these steps:
- Always back up your data and keep your devices updated!
- Never use USB sticks from unknown sources and be cautious while surfing the internet.
- Install reliable and credible ransomware protection software.
- Back up important data in an external hard drive.
- Don’t surf the internet on public wi-fi
- You can use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to keep your data private.