Ransomware

Have you ever received an email from a colleague that looks a little “off”? Were they asking you to download a suspicious file? On closer inspection, you might have realised the email hasn’t been sent from their email address at all. Hopefully you didn’t download the file because you were just targeted by a cyberattack with ransomware!

Photo by Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files which will prevent the user from accessing their files. The attacker then demands ransom payment, usually in the form of bitcoin, to regain access to the files again.

One of the most common methods of infection is through malicious spam- an email that is used to deliver the malware. The email might include an attachment or pdf which the attacker will try to trick you into downloading and opening on your laptop or computer. Attackers can also use malicious advertising online with little to no user interaction required.

Types of malware:

  • Scareware is malware that poses are security software and tech support. You might receive a pop-up message claiming that malware was discovered on your laptop or computer and the only way to get rid of it is to pay up. If you do nothing, you’ll likely continue to be bombarded with pop-ups, but your files are essentially safe.
  • Screen lockers will freeze you out of your computer entirely. If lock-screen ransomware gets on to your computer, a full-size window will appear, often impersonating an official state body saying illegal activity has been detected on your computer and you must pay a fine.
  • Encrypting ransomware is when the attackers encrypt your files, preventing you from accessing them. This can be extremely harmful for your business as once the attackers have your files, no security software or system can restore them.
Our top tip: NEVER pay the ransom. There is no guarantee you’ll get your data back and it only encourages the attackers more.

What can you do?

  • We recommend investing in cybersecurity to prevent the attack in the first place.
  • Most importantly we recommend that you regularly back up your data. Our recommendation is to use cloud storage that includes high-level encryption and multiple-factor authentication.

 If you’re concerned about potential ransomware attacks or cybersecurity risks at your business, then get in touch with us today. Our IT experts can advise you on the best approach to making sure your business and it’s data is secure.