Although the rise in technology has been beneficial in many ways, it has also created a thousand new headaches for people around the world. There are now countless ways for someone to steal an identity, steal money, or infect a computer. For those of us who aren’t as computer literate as someone with an advanced degree in the subject, it can be a little overwhelming to begin learning about all the different types of viruses and malware. However, it is necessary to learn more about this to protect ourselves from the people out there who wish to profit on spreading malware. While initially popular in Russia, Ransomware is a specific type of malware that has grown in popularity of the years and is now reaching across borders internationally.
What is Malware?
Before delving into ransomware, it is important to first understand what malware is and what it does. Malware, which is short for malicious software, is software that is designed to interrupt computer operation, steal sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. Malware includes:
- trojan horses
So, Ransomware is a specific type of malware.
Each type of malware has a set purpose, and ransomware is no different. Ransomware is just malware that is used to restrict access to the computer that it infects. Once the computer has been infected, the person who created the malware demands a ransom for the computer to be cleaned. Ransomware shows itself in a couple different ways. Some types of ransomware encyrpts files on the system’s hardware. Other types of ransomware lock the system and display messages that urge the owner of the computer to pay the money. The people who use ransomware are also known to create messages that pop-up on the screen that appear to be issued by companies or law enforcement agencies. These pop-ups often falsely claim that the user has been caught doing something illegal on their computer, and the user must pay a fee to avoid trouble.
How Ransomware is Spread
Ransomware is generally spread as a trojan, much like a regular computer worm. This could happen by downloading an infected file or having a vulnerability in the computer network. Once the person downloads the file, the program will then begins running a payload, which is what will begin to mess with your computer. When the ransomware being used is more sophisticated, there may be an encryption where only the author knows the key needed to clear the malware.
How to Prevent Ransomware
There are a variety of ways to avoid your computer being infected by ransomware, and it all starts with being careful about what content you are downloading on your computer. Some more specific tips are to:
- Have a security software installed and kept up to date
- Make sure your operating system, browser and plug-ins are all up to date
- Use all the features that your security software features
Allowing your computer to become infected with malware is the first step in a long list of headaches that you don’t want to deal with. Being aware of what the different types of malware are and taking the necessary precautions to prevent becoming infected will save you a lot of time and money. This article is writen by combofix team,write an article to combofix.org via combofixorg AT yahoo.com