Virus have very friendly nature and they do no harm. Damn don't say it again. I hate virus and I don't want to deal with them ever, which is not possible actually. But if you have a laptop or a PC then you have to deal with virus every now and then. We have already seen "How you can remove virus and malware from Mac OS". Also you have learned "How you can Recognizing virus – spyware attacks". Today we will talk about Ransomware virus which is spreading rapidly. Also we will discuss about some best prevention method from ransomware virus.
What actually is Ransomware virus?Ransomware is unwanted software used by hackers and cyber criminals to get hold of your personal files and folders. This virus has a potential to encrypt a file or folder and there is no way you can open or recover your file/folder. You have to pay a huge amount to the cyber hackers to get back your file and folders. Payments are made through untraceable medium like bitcoin and moneygram. Also there is no guarantee that you will get your file decrypted and recovered back properly. Obviously we can't trust hackers.
How Ransomware virus get into our machines
There are many way a ransomware virus can get onto our PC and laptops. But mainly when some untrusted vulnerable softwares is installed on your machine, it can install the ransomware virus in the background as a plugins, addons or extensions. So take proper care while installing any untrusted software and read the license agreement carefully before installing. Please don't ever install any third party untrusted softwares on your PC/laptops.
Also hackers and cyber criminals can hack into your machines and upload ransomware virus. So always keep strong password and don't share your files with any untrusted network connections like public wifi and cyber cafe.
Let us first know some amazing facts which are prevalent with ransomware virus. From the fact you will understand the true power of ransomware virus. Then we will talk about the prevention methods.
True facts about Ransomeware virus
- Ransomware has grown very sophisticated and bulletproof over the last couple of years. FBI’s Advice on Ransomware is Just Pay The Ransom.
- Do you know that you the cost to decrypt a drive struck by ransomware varies in cost, but generally averages around $500. One car buy a car!.
- One estimate showed that a single version of ransomware i.e. Cryptowall 3.0 has made over $325 million from US victims in 2015 alone.
- Researchers at Zscaler have found that certain porn apps on android are actually a type of ransomware. Some of the app automatically take unauthorized selfies of users and using those in ransom letters to make sure they pay up. (So make sure you don't posses that kind of app)
- These virus is not limited to Windows but are developed for other platforms also. Already there have been instances of ransomware designed for mobile devices and Linux ransomware that targets web servers. Also Mac is affected by this virus.
- Ransomware has been an unbreakable virus program. Ifa computer is infected, there isn’t much that can be done. No antivirus can remove it and fix your files.
How to prevent from an attack of Ransomware virus
As I told you don't install any untrusted software on your PC or laptop. Read the license agreement and make sure you are only installing the main software untick any other option to install other than main software. Also keep an eye on your network connection. Don't share files with any unknown network or rather don't even connect to any public unknown networks.
Some other ransomeware virus prevention methods are:
- Choose a strong password on your machine.
- Keep the backup of your important data.
- Always filter spam and malicious attachments from received emails
- Scan all the zip and rar compressed file before opening.
- Limit your access to network shares
- Blacklist all malicious IP addresses. Many software are available for this purpose. Antivirus and firewall also has this option.
- Install any best browser ads filter extension to prevent malicious popups and ads.
- Always deactivate autoplay settings. When a external device is plugged in it should not open automatically.
- Don't keep on the wireless connection unnecessarily. Always turn off your bluetooth, Wi-fi and other wireless connection, when not in use.
- Always keep your system softwares and operating system up to date.
- Use a good antivirus software.
- Don't react to the fake alarm or (PC in danger, virus found) messages.
What to do if you are victim of Ransomware virus
You got two major choice if you become a victim of this virus.
- Either pay the criminal/hacker the amount to decrypt your files. Or
- Fix the file/folder by your own using the antivirus or decrypting software. Or
- Forget your files and fully format your PC/laptop to prevent further loss.
Have you heard of CryptoLocker malware, many people are dealing with CryptoLocker virus. It is a kind of virus that can encrypt your files permanently and you cannot recover it back without paying a good amount. If you are a victim of this malware don't ever pay them to decrypt your files. Try to decrypt it yourself or take help of any professionals, these illegal activity should not be entertained. Also there is no guarantee of safe return of your files.
Most antivirus cannot encrypt the files which are harmed. If you get through any software or app which aims to help you in this process. PLEASE BE AWARE! Most of them are scam and it could be the next malware you are installing on your machine.
If you don't find any way to decrypt your file the best option is apply backup of your operating system or reinstall your OS. This process will make sure that the virus is deleted permanently. (You need a brave heart to do this. I did it once and I know how it feels. Just kidding!)
Addition details to prevent virusYou can use the Cryptolocker Prevention Kit. Which is created by Third Tier. I have not used it but it is said that it automates the process of making a Group Policy to disable files running from the App Data and Local App Data folders. Also it disable all executable files from running from the Temp directory of various unzipping utilities. That means that this virus will not affect your PC and will be defended if found.
That's all for now. In conclusion, Ransomware are very dangerous for us, try to follow this guide and tell everyone about this. Hope you will not become a victim of this virus. If I come across something new I will share it with you. Till then if you have any query or want to add something use the comment section below to post your view. Thank you for reading.