Ransomware on the Rise

Although not a new form of malicious internet spam, ransomware has increased dramatically throughout 2016 and into 2017- with spam emails up 6,000% since 2015, according to IBM. It’s only getting worse.

What is ransomware, anyway?
According to TrendMicro. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. More recently, ransomeware can be categorized as crypto-ransomware, which encrypt specific file types on infected systems and force users to pay in return for a decryption key.

That doesn’t sound good, what do I do to avoid this?
There are several things one can do to prevent a ransomware attack:

  • Get yourself a nice sturdy firewall, a must have in today’s internet technology
  • Be cautious about any emails from an unrecognizable source- don’t open any attachments if you aren’t 100% sure they’re safe.
  • Always have backups! Follow the 3-2-1 Rule:
    • Have at least 3 copies of your files
    • Store the copies on 2 different media devices
    • Keep 1 backup copy offsite
  • Consistently update your software and applications to keep them caught up against new vulnerabilities.
  • Disable your Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) if you don’t use it.
  • Use prevention kit tools, such as the Cryptolocker Prevention Kit
  • Show hidden file extensions – it helps you identify .exe files you may not initially notice

Can you give me a list of major ransomware threats to watch out for?
Sure, why not.

  • Cerber
  • CryptoLocker
  • CryptoWall
  • CryptXXX 3.0
  • Dogspectus
  • Fusob
  • Locky
  • Petya
  • Reveton
  • TorrentLocker