You have to beware of Trojans bearing anything in the modern computer world. A growing threat to your system these days is the virus known as ransomware.
Ransomware is exactly what it sounds like except that it kidnaps your important information and holds your files for ransom. Ransomware usually drops infected Trojan software into someone’s files, restricts a user’s access, and encrypts their files. Ransomware then asks for money to unlock the user’s information.
Cases of ransomware are not that frequent, but they still happen. We’ve gathered five cases of ransomware, and thoughts on what to do about it:
1.) KeRanger attacks Apple.
In early March, OSX ransomware known as KeRanger made their first attack on Apple computers. A Palo Alto Networks Inc. blog said the ransomware was discovered just hours after the program Transmission was released two days earlier. Transmission version 2.90 contained the virus, according to the blog.
The KeRanger application had been signed with a legitimate Mac app development certificate to let it get through. Apple revoked the validation. The Palo Alto blog says that after it infects a system, KeRanger waits three days before encrypting a system, and demands $400 in ransom to return the user’s data.
Transmission released version 2.92 of its software to remove the malicious ransomware.
2.) Netskope Cloud.
In the last quarter of 2015, there were reports of ransomware encrypting files saved to a popular cloud storage app, according to a Netskope report. Netskope found that 4.1 percent of businesses used an approved cloud application containing ransomware between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
The Netskope research only covered IT-sanctioned apps, according to SC Magazine. Netskope says the 4.1 percent figure represents only about 5 percent of a company’s total apps.
3.) CryptoWall 2.0, Colorado Springs
After seeing his computer infected by CryptoWall 2.0, an employee at a small business reported the situation to police. According to NPR, a police officer showed up immediately, but the workers didn’t file a police report. The company decided to pay the ransom of $750.
Email provider FastMail has dealt with a number of distributed denial of service attacks. One ransom attack demanded 20 Bitcoins, or just under $9,000, according to ITProPortal. FastMail management decided not to pay the money.
5.) MegaCode, Maine Police.
A local employee unintentionally downloaded the MegaCode virus, according to ITProPortal. Records were affected in four towns and one county. The police submitted a ransom of around $300, saying it was the only way to restore important information.
It’s been reported that ransoms from hackers have run into the totals of hundreds of millions each year. To make things just a little more difficult, the criminals will usually be asking for Bitcoins, instead of the currency you normally use.
The best way to avoid being part of that and keep ransomware out of your PC is to keep your security software strong and up to date. You also don’t want to touch unusual looking emails or downloads. And it is recommended to back up your files at all times to be prepared.