Humans are always evolving – we invented the wheel, we went digital, and I’m pretty sure that Game of Thrones is about as good as TV’s going to get for us. Unfortunately, malware evolves too, and – just like the big creep that it is – it’s always coming up with easier ways to get its grubby little mitts on your data. Ransomware has already been on the radar of late as a threat that’s on the rise, and now there’s a new generation in town too. Oh good.
Ransomware is a particularly delightful type of malware that locks your computer or encrypts your files so that you can’t access them. It then demands money in exchange for the decryption key so that you can unlock the files or system. It’s becoming a pretty serious contender in the malware world, with recent figures suggesting that about a quarter of all malware is now ransomware flavoured.
This is because – unlike ‘executable’ programmes where you need to actively click a link or run a programme – it doesn’t need that level of permission. Researchers said it might come in the format of an attached document which is confusing people, understandably. It’s coming at you by email and asking for about £171 to get your files back.
Previously ransomware was deployed in a few different ways – a key one being phishing emails, which is when an email that looks like it’s legit asks you to click on a link that deploys malware or takes you to a fake site and asks for your details.
Paying up for ransomware only encourages attackers, but unfortunately once they’ve nabbed the decryption key there’s not much you can do. So, preventative is best.
The other key thing is to ensure that you’re backing up your system because that’ll really bamboozle the suckers; then when they try and waggle your data in your face to taunt you, you’ll be all like ”oh sorry I’ve already backed this up in a separate, safe location so I’m good thanks!”.
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