Home » Alerts » What is Ransomware and How to Counter its Attacks

On regular basis, thousands of computer users get hit by ransomware, and trust me it is very frustrating noticing that your desktop background is changed from to a ransom note. That note includes an “ATTENTION!” note that says, “All your files were encrypted by CryLocker!” If you are a victim of such attack, you will not only receive an attention note, but you will also get an option that says, don’t get panic as you can decrypt all of the photos, videos, documents, and other files on your computer. But to decrypt your encrypted information, you need to pay the Bitcoin equivalent of $500 for the decryption key and this amount will significantly increase with every increasing day.


Only the number of attacks is not increasing, but ransomware are proliferating and mutating quickly. The new variants of ransomware are equipped with enhanced capabilities and emerging as the major threat that is dangerous than ever. If you get trapped into such situation, cybercrooks and major enterprises (bank and financial institutions) may release a few of your files, but not all. Backup is the only method that can save you from losing your important data and files. If you have created the backup of all of your data, you can recover your files without paying a ransom.

As per the reports, every day some 4,000 ransomware attacks are carried out and from the last year it has increased 300%. Cybercriminals are reaping the benefits by spreading ransomware as it has emerged as one of the most profitable businesses. Using ransomware with affiliate distribution networks, technically unsophisticated criminals are also getting in on the action and making profits. The attackers make the profit selling you the decryption key. Although there is no guarantee that once you pay for it, you will be able to decrypt your files. One thing victims also need to consider that, paying the ransom doesn’t mean that malware infection itself will be removed.

Not only the frequency of attacks of ransomware infections is increasing, but their variants are also multiplying. The old ones are continually upgrading and new are appearing at a rapid clip. Ransome developers are doing the business just like the regular software business. In fact, as an industry, it has trapped many of its legitimate counterparts. However, how ransomware works remains similar across all variations, but the developers of ransom are focusing more on helping victims to make their payments quickly and efficiently.

There may be many of reasons to get the infection of ransomware including when you click on a malicious link that is attached to your email. Although it is created as if it is legitimate, but in fact, it is not. Cybercrooks  are very smart and they may send you email claiming that this email is on behalf of bank and is in regard of your credit card information. For more information visit the link attached below. When you click on the links, it infects the files on your computer.

Another way that cybercrooks may use to trap you is, they may connect ransomware with a remote command and control server monitor the victim’s computer and sending the details of the device like victim’s physical location, nearby wireless networks, and other nasty variants. Once you device gets the ransomware, it encrypt the files stored on your computer and then shows a ransom note. To decrypt the files, you are asked to pay ransom that is typically requested in Bitcoin (it is a digital currency that may not be traced).

There are countermeasures also that you can use to stay protected against ransomware attacks. One such countermeasure is application whitelisting that is available for both Windows as well as for Mac. It is a feature that allows you to specify which applications can still run on your machine. As per the government alert, it is one of the best security strategies as it doesn’t allow all programs to run. It allow specific programs to run and block others including infectious software.

Keeping your operating system and all the software installed on it updated will also reduce the risk for your device as malware and infections may not get the potential security holes to exploit. Anti-virus software can also help you to stay protected from such attacks. Another advice to stay protected is, don’t enable macros in email attachments, because they are one way in which malware and ransomware can be executed. If you got the infection, do not pay the ransom as it doesn’t give you a permanent solution.

Backup, the Best Protection

To keep all your data and files safe, creating the backup is one of the best protections. By far, it is the most effective countermeasure. When every other measure fails, secure backup protects your data and files safely away from your device and any malware infection that may be there in your machine. There are number of backup solutions that work behind the scene and you don’t need to update every file on every device you own. If you have set your backup software to create automatic backup, you don’t need to do it manually, but if you want to do it manually, you can do it manually also.


Every online backup software solution has an online portal to keep you updated with the status of your backups. It also allows you to quick and easy restoration of anything from a single document to an entire computer or device. You can store backup locally, but it is better to save backups in the cloud as a part of hybrid solution because it ensures that you can access all your data no matter what happens to local copies or your devices.

With a robust and secure solution in place, it is easy to protect your device and data as ransom and other infection become a minor annoyance if you have created the backup of your data and installed the protection on your device. To be truly effective against ransomware and avoid the risk of data loss, you should have a backup solution in place before infection occurs.


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