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Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts a user’s computer and demands a ransom, often in Bitcoin, to unlock it. It spreads through various means like spam emails and phishing. There are different types, including Cryptoware, Lock Screens, Raas, Leakware, Scareware, Mac Ransomware, and Mobile Ransomware. Typically, organizations with sensitive data are targeted. Hackers enter networks through email and create cryptographic keys to encrypt files, coercing victims to pay for decryption. Backup solutions, such as offline storage and cloud backups, can provide protection against Ransomware attacks.
Ransomware is a unique type of ransomware that encrypts the user’s computer and asks money from you. The payment is through Bitcoin generally and then computer is unlocked. The cybercriminals who have attacked your computer give a deadline to give the ransom or the system will be locked forever. The following is an example of WannaCry attack that had encrypted thousands of computers in 2017 in more than 150 countries.
How does Ransomware Work? Is There Only One Kind of It?
Ransomware incidents occur through various avenues, including spam emails, phishing emails, malicious websites, and drive-by downloads. When it successfully infiltrates a computer within a network, it can spread to other connected computers, effectively restricting access to documents, photos, multimedia files, technical data, financial records, and various other forms of data.
Various forms of ransomware exist, each targeting users and their data in distinct ways. Understanding these ransomware variations is crucial for safeguarding against falling victim to them. Some examples of ransomware types include:
- Cryptoware: This is the most common and dangerous form of Ransomware that encrypts your files, folders, and hard-drives.
- Lock Screens: Lock screen ransomware, often referred to as lockers or non-encrypting ransomware, functions by preventing access to your system without encrypting its contents. Instead of encrypting files, it imposes restrictions on user entry, effectively locking them out of the system.
- Raas: Raas, short for Ransomware as a Service, is a malicious software developed by an anonymous hacker. This form of ransomware attack involves hackers offering a software-based service to unlock encrypted data in exchange for a ransom payment.
- Leakware: Leakware is also known as Doxware or Extortionware. This type of Ransomware threatens to publish the stolen data and information of the user.
- Scareware: This particular form of ransomware masquerades as a helpful computer program designed to resolve problems, enticing users to purchase it for purported protection. Typically, it disguises itself as antivirus software, but upon installation, it initiates harmful actions.
- Mac Ransomware: As the name suggests, this type of Ransomware attacks the Mac Operating Systems. KeRanger is a notorious Mac Ransomware that penetrates the systems via an app called Transmission.
- Mobile Ransomware: This type of Ransomware infiltrates mobile devices through drive-by downloads or a malicious fake app, which after installation takes over the user data.
Who Can be a Victim of It?
This fraud primarily preys on organizations, irrespective of their scale. However, it specifically targets organizations characterized by smaller security teams, highly sensitive data, and a propensity to respond swiftly with payment.
How Hackers Do It?
A Ransomware attack is not an easy job and is performed after full-fledged planning. It comprises many steps:
- Entering the Network – First, the hackers enter into the user’s environment via spam emails or phishing emails. Once entered, they get installed on the user system.
- Creating a Cryptographic Key – Once installed on the system, the Ransomware generates a cryptographic key for the system.
- Encryption of Files – Now, the Ransomware starts encrypting everything it comes across. Everything on the network or the local server is encrypted this way.
- Coercion – Once the encryption is done, the Ransomware starts to show notification or text, asking the user to pay to get access to their data back.
- Decryption – The final phase involves the user making a payment for their data, after which the hackers proceed to decrypt the data and return access. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that there is no assurance that the user will regain access to their data.
How Can Backup Solutions Help?
According to surveys, the frequency of Ransomware attacks continues to increase steadily, and safeguarding oneself against them involves proactive measures. Let’s explore how backup solutions can assist in achieving this goal.
- Copy and Store the Backup – An effective method for safeguarding your data against Ransomware is to duplicate your data onto an external drive and keep it in offline storage. By doing so, you ensure that your data is securely stored in a separate location, isolated from online threats, and impervious to Ransomware attacks.
- How can Cloud backup help? – Storing a backup in the Cloud is a prudent step to guard against Ransomware attacks. Windows data can be securely backed up on services such as SharePoint Online within the Office 365 suite, ensuring easy and convenient access to your data via the Internet.
To ensure a seamless transition of your data to the cloud platform, consider utilizing Kernel Migrator for SharePoint. This automated SharePoint migration tool simplifies the process, effortlessly transferring your valuable data to SharePoint while preserving its original format and structure.
This blog post provides an extensive exploration of Ransomware, delving into its characteristics and offering insights into safeguarding data against ransomware threats using backup solutions. Furthermore, we’ve introduced the SharePoint Migrator tool, a trusted third-party application designed to seamlessly and securely migrate your valuable data to a cloud-based platform.