Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block or restrict access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware is becoming more and more common and at the same time, more and more dangerous.
The first thing to do is to have it looked at by a professional. Ransomware can be dangerous, and in some cases your files can become encrypted and potentially lost forever.
The first step in protecting yourself against ransomware is to recognise the different types of ransomware you can be hit with. The seriousness of each ransomware case can very from a minor to catastrophic.
Scareware, a term coined by the team at Malware-Bytes. Is basically programs that are made to look like security software and tech support services. For example a pop up might show that there was 13,345 virus found on your computer, there will usually be a nice big button right under the number that says “Fix now” or “Our specialists can fix your computer for just $220”. Usually lot’s of red used with words like “danger, high risk, threats, serious”. If you ignore these pop ups you will likely increase or at the very least continue in the same way. Thankfully though, these types of issues can usually be fixed relatively easily. Once cleaned it is important to keep your anti virus software up to date to avoid further, similar issues.
System Lock Out
If you are infected with a system lock out ransomware you will not be able to use your computer. Typically, when you have been infected and start your computer you will see a full screen notification sometimes marked with government logos
In order to reclaim control of your PC, a full system restore might be in order. If that doesn’t work, you can try running a scan from a bootable CD or USB drive.
Pro tip: The FBI would not freeze you out of your computer or demand payment for illegal activity. If they suspected you of piracy, child pornography, or other cybercrimes, they would go through the appropriate legal channels.
Encrypting ransomware – The real deal.
This is the really serious stuff. An encrypting ransomware will literally encrypt your files. If this happens chances are it is too late for any person or program to get them back. This is the truly nasty stuff. The only way to get your files back is to pay the ransom. That said, there is no guarantee you will get the files back after paying the ransom.
Pro tip from Malware Bytes: While the governments recommend paying the ransoms, cybersecurity professionals advise otherwise. Complying with ransomware criminals just opens the door up for future attacks.
Preventing further attacks
The first step in preventing additional ransomware attacks is to invest in some good cybersecurity. Start with an antivirus with active monitoring. Stellar Tech IT offers a full managed Anti Virus solution meaning you can have peace of mind that you a being looked after.
The other important thing to do is implement a reliable backup solution for all of your files. We can also help you with this. See our data backup page here for more information.