Internet is a large window where you can find many threats in the form of viruses, malicious softwares, malwares, ransomwares and so on. But Ransomwares are something different from other threats. They not only infects your PC like anything else but also make you pay for unencrypting your computer and hence the name Ransomware.
Ransomware is a kind of virus. They affect your Personal Computer mainly in dual ways. One, they infect and lock down everything on your computer. Second, they demand payment of ransom in the form of huge amounts for unlocking your computer. Anyway, Ransomwares end up in locking down of your PC and also loss of your money.
Types of Ransomwares
There are many types of Ransomwares and they use various methods to extract money from you. One type only Locks up certain important data in your laptop or personal computer. Second type may threaten you that they have access to your credential files and claims money from you. Third type is they tend to lock down to PC and frighten you that they will wipe out the entire data within a preset time period.
Fourth type ends up in locking down the entire activities of your computer. Fifth type annoys you with continuous popups that cannot be closed down under any circumstances. Sixth type may prevent from booting your computer ending up in a complete mess. The last type may come with displaying messages that you have been detained by law enforcement agencies like FBI or Gendarmerie Nationale etc. These types of messages say that you have been fined for viewing illegal contents over the internet.
Attacks of Ransomwares
The earliest known Ransomware was PC Cyborg Trojan, AKA the AIDS Info Disk in 1989. It was developed by Dr. Joseph Popp. His programme replaced certain files in the infected systems. The Ransomware got activated after the user booted his computer for 90 times. It made the system crash by changing the filenames in C drive. It gradually made certain important directories invisible. Finally Trojan claimed a huge sum of money to have access to their respective systems. But Popp was caught and sentenced to serve imprisonment at Brixton prison in England.
Next major attack of Ransomwares took place during 2005-06 in the regions covering the Russia and Eastern Europe. These Ransomwares zip certain types of files and folders with a password. The user cannot open those files without the help of password. The people who were behind the Ransomware charges nearly $300 for passwords to open those folders.
Ways by which they get into your PC
One of the ways is by downloading certain kinds of files from compromised websites. This again can be by accidently clicking on any ads on the website or on certain occasions while opening certain mail attachments. Another method is by infected removable drives. This includes using same storage device for multiple systems. It can also be infected due to program vulnerabilities. This may be due to weakness caused by various forms of malware that had already affected the machine. It can also get into the system by way of unupdated internet browsers. Ransomware can also get into your PC by way of certain applications like browser tools, software keys, .exe files, messenger applications, file sharing with peers and so on.
How far Ransomware affected?
According to the studies conducted it was found that nearly 5700 computers are being affected daily. The programmers of these malwares charges $60-$200 from each user. Nearly 2.9% of the victim has already paid the sum of money. The data reveals that the programmers behind malware had made a sum of $394000. During the earlier quarter of 2013, Russia reported nearly 250,000 instances of malware attack. US Homeland Security reported that a malware named CryptoLocker collected nearly $100 million in last 10 months. Even the Massachusetts Police Department ended up in paying $750 to reestablish access to their files in the year 2013.
CrytoLocker Infection statistics shows that it had affected 25,841 systems in Canada, 336,856 in US, 4,593 in UK, 1,832 in India, 15,427 in Australia and other countries together 100,448. CrptoLocker demanded its payments in Bitcoins and Green Dot MoneyPaks. CryptoWall, an innovated version of CryptoLocker successfully locked down nearly 625,000 systems and successfully plundered $1 million from users.
The Things That You Should If Your PC Got Affected With Ransomware
The most important thing that you must do is to never pay the ransom. Even if you pay the money, you won’t get any assurance that they will unlock your PC. Also paying ransom may encourage the hackers to plunder more money from your hard earned pockets. If you thinks that your PC is affected, then you must avoid connecting any external devices to your PC further. You must also disconnect other devices on the network inorder to avoid affecting them from malwares. The safest method is to install Antivirus and Antimalware Software in your PC. Even after trying all these, if you still fail to prevent the infection, get a Boot recovery CD/DVD/USB and restore your system to factory conditions. Also you must request help from Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Methods to Protect your PC from Ransomware
You must use a Spam filter option on your emails. Install highly secured antivirus software and remember to update it regularly. Always download, install and attach pop-up blocker to your browser to avoid accidental clicking on them. Also update your Operating System from time to time. Always keep a back-up of important files in your PC. Then if you are going to open any mails, remember to activate the firewalls in antivirus that you are using.
Ransomware has got sophisticated from the days it used to spread with the help of floppy disks. Now they spread with a label of important mail in the name of your bank. When you open those mails, your PC may get affected with malware. So always treat every file with a suspicion. Always remember that ‘Prevention is Better than Cure’.