Ransomware Attacks May Blindside Unsuspecting Users

Internet users often wait for cyber attackers to strike, anticipating that they will sneak in through their backdoor. Cyberspace is unpredictable. The attacker could just run up to the victim and hit him on the head, metaphorically speaking.

Ransomware is an example of a direct attack. Ransomware is more direct than a stealth attack like keylogging in which victims are extorted through logged keystrokes that capture account numbers and passwords without their knowledge. Ransomware is an attack where malicious code is used to stealthily encrypt the victim’s files on their computer. The attackers contact the victim and demand ransom. This can be in the form either of an online payment or a ransom for the decryption password.

Although ransomware is not a widespread problem, hackers and users are becoming more sophisticated. It may be used to blindside people who only worry about keyloggers or phishing. The same techniques are used to stop users falling for these well-known scams are still in use.

  1. Never open attachments or email from unknown sources.
  2. Avoid clicking on links to untrusted sites.
  3. Avoid downloading files or games from unknown sources.
  4. Anti-spyware and antivirus software should be installed and updated daily.
  5. Keep a firewall and a popup blocker on and make sure they are turned on.
  6. Regularly update browsers and other system software.
  7. All system files and computer data should be backed up on a separate machine or online. This will allow the hard drive to be wiped out if needed without losing any important programs or files.

Some people panic when they lose their computer data. They may instinctively pay the money. Many people may discover that they did not pay for any reason. Ransom.A is a ransomware program that can be found on the Internet. It’s not actually destructive, but it uses empty threats to get payment. Ransom.A will randomly activate pornographic popups and destroy files every 30 minutes unless the victim wires $10.99 to the attackers. In return, the attackers will give an “unlock key”. Ransom.A doesn’t have the ability delete or encrypt files. It relies on the user’s desire for a quick, inexpensive solution to what is not really a problem.

Ransomware programs can cause serious harm. For example, Trojan.Archiveus according to Kaspersky Lab copies, scrambles and deletes every file in the user’s “My Documents” folder. Users are then offered the decryption password and a ransom note in return for an order from a Russian online pharmacy. Archiveus is believed to be spread by drive-by downloading. However, according to Symantec Corp., the password to unlock the encryption is: mf2lro8sw03ufvnsq034jfowr18f3cszc20vmw – apparently, the decryption password was found in the code, offering an example of the fact that hackers are as susceptible to human flaw as the most inexperienced user.

Although ransomware is not a major threat, it is advisable to backup all your computer files and to take preventative measures to avoid being sent one. If you find yourself in this situation, it is a good idea to contact law enforcement officials before paying ransomware attackers.