There has been a rapid rise in technological advancements over the last decade. From cloud computing to artificial intelligence, technology is radically changing from one day to the next. One of the major challenges that technology has faced in light of all these advancements is ransomware attacks.
In August 2020, a ransomware group claimed to have hit a Canadian corporate giant. As per IT World Canada, the ransomware group, DarkSide, was demanding payment from the Toronto-based billion-dollar company, threatening to release the copied corporate files publicly if the ransom was not paid. This incident is proof that there is a need for skilled professionals to join the cybersecurity industry and defend companies, individuals, and governments against such attacks.
EC-Council University offers both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in cybersecurity. While the majority of people using the internet are concerned about data security, programs offered by EC-Council University equip aspirants with the digital weapons that can be used to defend privacy.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. It is a malicious software that blocks authorized users’ access to their personal data and demands a ransom for its decryption. The victim is typically shown instructions on how to pay a fee to get their decryption key.
How do ransomware attacks work?
There are two major categorizations of ransomware attacks:
Types of Ransomware Attacks
This is a form of ransomware where cybercriminals encrypt a victim’s private and important files so they are unable to access the same. The decryption key is offered by the cybercriminal in exchange for ransom.
In locker ransomware, the cybercriminal locks the victim out of their computer system instead of encrypting files. Once the user is locked out, the attacker demands payment to unlock the system.
How does ransomware get on your computer?
There are multiple channels through which ransomware can get on the computer system of a user. One of the most common channels are phishing scams, emails that contain malicious attachments. Once these files are downloaded and opened, the attacker can take over the system. The ransomware virus can also gain entry through malicious websites.
Can you remove ransomware?
Once the type of ransomware has been identified, the next step is to remove the same from the computer system. Here are the steps to follow to protect your data from ransomware:
- Restore clean backup
One way of removing a ransomware virus is by restoring a clean backup. If the user has stored a clean backup on a separate disk, they will be able to reformat the affected disk and restore the clean backup.
- Decryption tools
Another way of removing ransomware is by using decryption tools. If the victim has knowledge of decryption tools, they can easily restore their stolen data. Decryption tools are designed by programmers to help the victim recover their data.
Negotiation is the last and most dangerous method of removing ransomware. Under this method, the user tries to negotiate to avoid paying the ransom. However, the attacker often pushes for a smaller sum as opposed to none, as all they want is payment.
How to stop ransomware attacks
Here are a few dos and don’ts by Norton on practices that should be followed to not fall prey to such attacks:
- Always restore impacted files from a good and known backup. The fastest way to regain access and control of your data is restoration.
- Scan and filter all emails on your server. Any email with a suspicious attachment type should be blocked as they can pose a threat.
- It is recommended to always use reputable firewall and antivirus software. This helps you to form an additional layer of security to keep your data safe and secure.
- Do not provide your personal information while answering unknown phone calls, emails, instant messages, and text messages.
- Always be alert while using public wireless internet. You should always use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN) while using public Wi-Fi.
About EC-Council University
EC-Council University is an accredited American online university that offers cybersecurity degrees, certification programs, and more. Aspirants who are planning to make a career in cybersecurity can either opt for the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (BSCS) degree or the Master of Science in Cybersecurity (MSCS), or any of the Graduate Certificate Programs in Cybersecurity.