What is Ransomware Attack and How to Prevent it?
The digital technology world is evolving, so are the techniques of cyber attacks, especially ransomware attacks. So, we need to be prepared to face & prevent cyber security challenges and have a foolproof mitigation plan and strategy to combat a this attack.
That’s why, here we will cover everything you need to know about ransomware attacks and prevention techniques. So that you can protect yourself from its adverse effects.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malware (malicious software) in which cybercriminals encrypt user data or a computer until a ransom is paid.
Usually hackers take advantage of human, system, network, and software vulnerabilities to execute ransomware attacks. Their main motive is to infect user’s device such as computer, printer, smartphone, wearable, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or other endpoint.
As a matter of fact, attackers target not only individuals but also reputed organizations. Here is an real life example of the same.
“As per news reports, hackers compromised AIIMS’ servers and threaten them to put their data on dark web until the demanded ransom is being paid.”
Different Ways Through Which Ransomware Attacks Spreads
Hackers use several ways to get into your system such as
- Suspicious emails or text messages: – Attackers create suspicious emails or text messages with malicious attachments to spread ransomware.
- Pirated software: – Here cybercriminals use pirated software to propagates ransomware.
- Remote desk protocol: – Attackers use port scanners to search the vulnerable ports.
- Malvertising and exploit kits: – These kits use ransomware in the form of advertisements or “Trojan pop ups”.
- Drive-by downloads:- Cybercriminals take advantage of vulnerabilities of web browsers, plugins, or apps to spread ransomware.
- MSPs and RMMs: – Flaws present in the MSP and RMMs are misused by hackers to compromise data.
- Malicious websites or URLs: – Ransomware can be spread by visiting malicious websites or URLs.
Types of Ransomware Attacks
There are different types of ransomware attacks that are used by hackers to compromise an organization’s IT infrastructures. Some of them are;
- WannaCry: – A worm called WannaCry spreads by taking advantage of holes in the Windows operating system (OS). It is crypto ransomware. WannaCry contains a worm component. When a computer is infected by a WannaCry ransomware, it encrypts the files so user cannot access their files and for decrypting those files attackers demands ransom.
- SamSam: – On locked computers, SamSam actors post ransom notes. Victims are instructed to contact one another through a Tor hidden service website. The victims typically receive links to obtain encryption keys and tools to decrypt their network after paying the ransom in Bitcoin and getting in touch.
- Locker ransomware: – It is a form of malware that prevents users from using common computer features until the hackers’ demands have been met. It displays a lock screen that prevents the victim from using the computer for essential tasks.
Modus Operandi of Ransomware Attack
Secondly, Malware is dropped on the victim’s computer upon accessing infected/compromised websites or web links. This malicious software executes itself and starts encrypting the data and computer without user’s knowledge.
Safety Measures to Stay Safe from Ransomware Attack
Though this kind of cyber attack are constantly happening, you can follow some steps to keep yourself safe from this attack.
- Make a habit of taking regular backup of your data.
- Never click on suspicious email attachments or links.
- Make yourself aware of the latest cyberattack patterns.
- Keep your software and operating system updated.
- Install firewall and anti-malware software.
- Proactively identify malicious activities through active monitoring.
- Always make sure that your data is encrypted, so that your data is protected from external threats.
Ransomware is one of the serious threats since it target compromising sensitive data. So, to make you familiar with ransomware attack, we discussed what does it mean, its different types and ways of spreading, modus operandi of it and what safety measures you can follow to prevent these attacks.
Note: Always stay alert about ever-evolving cyberattacks. In case, you fall victim to any kind of such attack, doesn’t hesitate to file a complaint and take professional help. You can reach out to Anuraag Singh for any kind of cyber support.