Much like the COVID-19 pandemic that we are facing, the cyber world has fallen prey to the pandemic known as ransomware time and again. Ransomware creates new strains to go undetected and uses methods which will not only leave the security organisations in chaos and infuriated but also manipulates the users to pay any amount of money they demand.
What Is Ransomware?
Any time we hear the word “ransom” we think of kidnapping a person and asking for ransom in exchange. Similarly, ransomware is a method to kidnap or steal valuable information pertaining to a corporation or an individual and ask for a certain sum of money to be paid by the users in exchange for the stolen data. Ransomware not only threatens to isolate the data but also completely destroy the information if the payment is not done.
These ransomwares often underlie in applications or browsers and software which come across as harmless. The moment the users operate the program, these ransomwares come into play. These ransomwares disguise themselves so that most of the time users are not even aware that their information has been compromised, until they find that they are unable to access their data and a ransom pops up on the screen asking for a monetary transaction to be made.
Therefore, it is extremely important to be aware of the red flags so that your data can remain safe from such malicious practices. The Cyberbeat has curated a list of all the important things that you should know about Ransomware –
- No matter how small or big your business is, it is still vulnerable to ransomware – Ransomwares do not limit themselves to only big businesses. They target anyone who owns a business. If you have the capability of opening and running your own business, it makes you susceptible to the dangers of ransomware as they consider you to have the money these attackers are looking for. Those who are behind the creation of such ransomwares are well aware of the monetary gains they can make from your business without putting in much effort into it. They do not care whether you run the business alone or have a team working under you, if they consider you as someone who can meet their monetary demands, they will attack you. These ransomware creators want to gain profit by putting in minimal efforts and if your business is an easy target for them, they will catch you unguarded and execute their plan.
- They Don’t Kidnap You, They Kidnap Your Data- Unlike the image that the word ransom presents in your mind, instead of kidnapping you and asking for money in exchange, these ransomware creators steal your data and lock your files and demand for a sum of money that must be paid by you, before you can retrieve access to your files once again. These ransomware creators target your files as they know the important role this data plays. Without this data, your company could falter and eventually could be on its way to complete destruction. They know how valuable this data is to you and your company. Therefore, they opt for an easier method which does not include kidnapping a person but kidnapping data. This method is effective for them while gaining profit. Businesses are advised to get help from specialized companies and run continuous security testing to find potential vulnerabilities.
- Ransomware creators do not demand for cash – If you are new to the world of cyber security and haven’t faced such malicious practices before, it will be extremely frustrating for you to know how exactly to combat this. When you first fall prey to this practice, you may assume that it is better for you to fight it off and not meet the monetary demands of the perpetrator. This is why it is extremely important for you to take the necessary actions beforehand, so that you can fight off any such practice of ransomware that targets your files. However, if you have not already taken necessary preventive measures, you may forcefully have to pay that particular sum. However, these creators are clever. They do not ask for your money because they know that it is easier to trace the transaction of money. To avoid the cyber police from tracing the transaction to them, they demand for bitcoins instead.
- Bitcoins hold a lot of value and are awfully expensive – Bitcoin is a quite popular currency which exists in the virtual world. Now you may think, what is so special about Bitcoins, why would they ask for Bitcoins? They may not seem unbelievably valuable or important to you. However, the harsh reality is that these Bitcoin currencies can be used for transactions in the real world as well. The exchange rates at which you can buy bitcoins are extremely expensive. Only a certain amount of Bitcoin can be produced. Therefore, you may end up spending thousands of dollars to gain one bitcoin. If the ransomware creators demand for say around 10 bitcoins, you could be spending a lot of money and bitcoin transactions are harder to trace.
- Once you pay the ransom, you will retrieve access to your files – You must be questioning, what if you pay the ransom and still don’t get back your files, what if they ask for more and refuse to unlock your data? If your files are not returned, people will start to believe that paying the ransoms won’t get them their files back and therefore, the businesses would stop paying ransom thinking that they will never gain access to their files again while losing a lot of money. Therefore, to keep their ransom business going, they will give you back your data.
To stay informed and protect all your valuable files, stay updated with the Cyberbeat. It brings you all the latest information of the complex cyber world, so that you can prevent any breach in your system.