Ransomware is one of the more malicious forms of cyber-attack. Typically - though not always - targeted at businesses, it's in the name: software is held to ransom in the name of cash. In a nutshell, hackers gain access to a computer system and then block its use in some form until a sum of money is received.
This is what happened recently to Toll Group. While they've recovered, it was incredibly disruptive for the business. Nearly 1,000 of their servers were affected.
The best cure is prevention. So, how can you spot ransomware?
Ransomware usually appears in one of three forms:
- Screen locking: hackers will shut you out of gaining access to your computer, typically by replacing your screen with a message from a legal authority accusing you of severe crimes, informing you that the only way out is to pay up. If this were true, a) you'd know about it and b) actual law enforcement would be involved. Don't be alarmed!
- Scareware: this one is likely to involve a pop-up, telling you to pay to remove some malware (malicious software) that has been detected on your computer. While less disruptive than screen locking, don't fall victim to this sneakier of ransomware attacks - the only time you should be paying a company to monitor your malware is official software protection companies. Anyone telling you to pay there and then should be ignored!
- Ecryption ransomware: this is the one to watch for. To summarise, a user's files are taken by hackers, encrypted and payment is then demanded in order to restore (which is not always a guarantee). The problem with this is that you might not see those files again, which can cause utter chaos. Just think of what happened to the UK's NHS in 2017.
What can you do?
If you suspect a ransomware attack, NEVER pay up! This is the key rule. In light of this, what you absolutely should do is contact the IT experts at G2IT, to help identify the solution. It's always best to get the professionalts in - give us a call today, and stay wary of ransomware!