Updated: May 11, 2020
So what is ransomware exactly?
It is the new scourge of the internet sea. Ransomware, a form of malware (technically it's all malware) that mostly infects a computer via email attachment. It can also be in the form of a phishing site that tricks you into signing in with your social media and in some targeted cases, they find their way to you via hacking.
First viruses, worms, spyware, adware, bots and now this? Is the question you are probably asking yourself. I could argue that this is the natural evolution of malware, just like Facebook, Instagram and snap chat. It is all about monetization. What better way to monetize malware than to render a user completely out of control of their possession and the only way for them to unlock it is to pay what is asked. Luckily for most users, these amounts are not that large. In fact, it would be way cheaper for you to simply pay the amount than to engage a white hat hacker to intervene on your behalf. Which is what makes this model so viable and an amazing perversion of our economic sensibilities. It is like holding your child hostage in front of you with a gun, and all the guy asks is 10 dollars. So would you call the police or simply give 10 dollars, a minuscule amount.
Forgive us for the extreme example. Hijacking a personal computer is hardly a crime unless you're doing it to a law enforcement agency. A sheriff in the United States has been hit with ransomware and after paying the amount, there was no record of the incident. That is impressive.
If you are reading this article and you are dealing with ransomware, there is very little help. Prevention is still the best option in this case. As long as you have valuable information, there will be people out there willing to exploit it. These attacks can be targeted, hackers these days pay consultants to search for easy targets. From your social media page and your domain name, they can simply pretend to be you and send an email to a colleague or boss. Once that email is opened, the program is armed. If you're thinking of antivirus software, you are much better off with a cloud-based endpoint protection solution that can help you with ransomware specifically.
Thank you for reading 'What is ransomware?' and we hope you have a beautiful day ahead.