Ransomware- A Crafty, Dangerous Cyber Threat
Ransomware has been increasing at an alarming rate for over few years, and according to various sources it is estimated around $1 billion was made by cybercriminals. Today’s technology has given much sophistication to hackers in getting access to your files and are becoming financially rewarded for extortion.
Ransomware is a kind of malware, which infects the computer systems and restricts users to access their system. For several years’ variants of ransomware have been observed and often attempt to extort money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert. These alerts state that the user’s systems and files have been encrypted and locked. Unless a ransom is paid, access will not be restored to users. The ransom demands from hackers varies greatly. The ransom must be paid in virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.
The malware, ransomware forces clients to pay immediately. Data of Employees and consumers are typically traded for bitcoins. According to a survey by security firms almost two-fifths of businesses in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany have been hit in the last year by a ransomware attacks. Financial and Health service firms were particularly targeted heavily.
What is Bitcoin?
Virtual crypto-currency is called as Bitcoin. One bitcoin is currently worth Rs. 40,541(INR). Many countries have not prohibited its use. Few countries have come up with regulatory mechanisms for it, whereas several countries see it as a potential tool for terror funding, money laundering operation or other criminal activities
Recent Ransom Attacks:
A diagnostic centre in Delhi, was recently targeted through a ransomware and gained illegal access to its servers and encrypted the data. The cyber criminals demanded ransom in the form of bitcoins to decrypt and restore the data.
Recently in the month of February 2017, employees at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in Los Angeles, Calif., had a network problem, which prevented the electronic communications. Over the next few days, the hospital understood that there was a ransomware attack and that encrypted their systems. The attackers demanded the hospital to pay $17,000 ransom — the equivalent of 40 bitcoins.
How to prevent yourself from Ransomware attacks?
Think twice before clicking dangerous hyperlinks or clicking spam or suspicious emails, which can be received via social networks or instant messengers. Senders can also be people you trust, including your friends or colleagues.
Few Ransomware Examples: cute-dog.avi.exe or table.xlsx.scr, OSIRIS locky Ransomware (files with. OSIRIS extension), Spam emails – so be sure to pay attention to tricks of this sort.
What Should be Done if Your Account Gets Compromised?
If you have been notified that your account has been compromised, or you inadvertently clicked on a dangerous link, please follow the below instructions or contact your IT Helpdesk team.
- Run a full scan of your Anti-Virus. Check that it is Up to date and if it is not, just update it, then run a full scan.
- As soon as possible, change your online passwords and any other on-line password (banking, social media sites, email, etc.). Please use a secure password with at least 8 characters made up of alphanumeric characters, upper/lowercase and special characters.
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