The number of ransomware attacks has spiked over the last few years, with businesses and individuals failing to employ basic cybersecurity practices. Cyberattacks have affected healthcare, governments, financial institutions, and major companies around the world.
While this may sound alarming, the good news is that by understanding ransomware and how it can affect a system, you will have increased protection against attacks. In this two-part blog post, we will delve into some of the most common ways systems get infiltrated by ransomware, as well as some defence strategies to help your system avoid becoming a victim in the future.
Ransomware is, essentially, malware that takes over a system and prevents it from functioning properly. The threat can be delivered in a number of different ways but is generally delivered to your system through an email, a malicious download, or a link. Once your system is infected, the malware encrypts all the files on your system and then presents you with a note informing you of the intended damage. The note will include a ransom, insisting that the victim pay money in order to regain access to their files.
This is why the term ‘ransomware’ is used instead of ‘malware’ – because the intent of the threat is not just to take control of your computer but also to extort money from you.
Different Types of Ransomware
1 – Lockers
Lockers of this kind take control of the browser and hold the system hostage until payment is made. The ransom is usually demanded through online payment systems like PayPal or Bitcoin. This kind of malware is quick to detect and remove by anti-malware software.
2 – Encryptors
This type of malware is more dangerous than the locker. Encryptor malware attacks the file system and encrypts all of the files on the system, then demands payment to release the files. There are a few different methods of payment that can be used, but they all involve sending money.
3 – Scareware
This kind of ransomware is unique in that it will not encrypt your files or hold your system hostage. Scareware simply generates a fake warning on the person’s computer to make them believe that their system is already infected. Scareware has been in the mainstream for several years and uses scam tactics to trick users. Scareware uses tactics like pop-ups, misleading warnings, and fake scans to drive an individual to agree to buy the software.
4 – Leakware
This type of malware attacks the victim’s system through a spam email. The spam email contains a link that redirects the user to a phishing website. The site will appear to be a legitimate site and prompt the user to enter their information. Once that information is entered, the computer becomes infected with the malware.
In conclusion, it is important to understand how ransomware can infect your system. Ransomware is dangerous because it can lock you out of all of your important files. The best method of protection against ransomware is to prevent infections in the first place. So, make sure to catch the second part of this blog post to know how to best combat ransomware attacks.
If you are looking to up your brand protection, contact FraudWatch. We have been protecting client brands around the world since 2003. We are leaders in online brand protection from phishing, malware, social media and mobile app impersonation.