Important Information on Malware Known as Ransomware, and How to Prevent it with Malwarebytes and Carbonite!

Ransomware: The Latest Cyber Extortion Tool

What is ransomware? Ransomware is malicious software that denies you access to your computer or files until you pay a ransom. Ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails that spread malicious attachments and drive-by downloading.  In 2015, 2400 complaints were filed regarding ransomware, resulting in a loss of $24 million. 

Why is Ransomware so effective?
The creators of ransomware instill fear and panic into their victims, causing them to click through a link or pay a ransom and inevitably become infected with other malware including messages similar to these:

  • Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $1000 fine.
  • Hackers impersonate law enforcement; claim you downloaded illegal material; demand a fine for your “violation”.
  • All files on your computer have been encrypted. You must pay this ransom within 72 hours to regain access to your data.

Consequences of Ransomware
Many negative consequences can result from ransomware including temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption to regular operations, potential harm to an organization’s reputation, costs associated with network mitigation, network countermeasures, legal fees, IT services, and/or the purchase of credit monitoring services for employees or customers.

Tips for Mitigating Risk of Ransomware:

  • Prevent an attack by having anti-ransomware such as Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes uses advanced proactive technology that monitors what ransomware is doing and stops it cold before it even touches your files. It does not rely on signatures or heuristics, so it’s light and completely compatible with antivirus.
  • The single biggest thing that will defeat ransomware is having a regularly updated backup such as Carbonite. If you are attacked with ransomware you may lose that document you started earlier this morning, but if you can restore your system to an earlier snapshot or clean up your machine and restore your other lost documents from backup, you can rest easy.
  • Assess the extent of the infection and the extent of the damage. Remove the virus by deleting all infected files. Use a Cloud backup solution such as Carbonite to recover clean versions of the infected files from backup.

The PlanUse Malwarebytes to protect against ransomware, and Carbonite to backup your data!

Time is critical for an organization faced with a ransomware deadline. Online extortionists typically give organizations a very specific time limit within which to pay. It is important to have a plan in place describing what needs to happen in the event of a ransomware attack. Do an inventory of your critical data assets, know where it is located, and evaluate that impact of any loss or unavailability of that data. Learn more about Carbonite here… Part of having a plan to prevent ransomware is taking preventative steps by downloading Malwarebytes to any individual computer or business computers. Learn more about Malwarebytes security here…

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