Hit by Ransomware? Here's what to do.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware can be one of the hardest form of malware to recover from. Cyber criminals use different ways of entries to deny a user or organization access to files on their computer. These cyber criminals almost always demand the ransom to be fulfilled with a set price.
Unfortunately, the easiest way for some organizations to get files back is to actually pay up since it could cost more money and time to regain files through another method.
Ransomware has quickly become the most prominent type of malware since it is the most effective for cyber criminals. Since everyone is at risk of being the victim of ransomware you need to understand how it works and what to do if you are a target.
If you are targeted by ransomware:
If you are the victim of a ransomware attack you will know. Usually you will receive some kind of warning, telling you that you have been a target and need to pay a fine to get your data back.
Stay calm and walk through these steps:
1. Determine if it is a genuine threat. There are fraudulent ransomware attacks, meant to scare the victim to immediately hand over payment when their data is not actually being encrypted. The easiest way to tell is to try and view different kinds of files on your computer, check to make sure you still have access to all email accounts, and if everything seems okay, run a malware detection software just to be sure.
2. If you determine its genuine. Stay calm. There are options other than paying the ransom. Sometimes you will be given an ultimatum, similar to the following, “Pay the ransom within 5 days or all of your data will be leaked.” This can be scary so stay calm, your last resort is to pay the ransom because it is not guaranteed that a cyber-criminal will honor their part of the deal.
3. Disconnect from network and restart your computer. This should always be the first step when there is a threat of malicious activity on your computer. You never know, there is always a chance that this could kill the malware depending on how it is operating.
4. Run an anti-malware software. There are multiple options for anti-malware software that can be run. Do research to find something trustworthy, with the proper software it could recover your data for you and provide you with more information about the ransomware and tell you the proper steps to take to your ensure you and your data’s safety.
5. Call Firestorm Cyber. We offer Cyber Incident Rapid Response to anyone anywhere in the world who needs cybersecurity help, that includes anti-malware support. We will help walk you through the necessary steps to identify the threat, contain it, help you start recovering, and handle any other situations that arise.
The most effective step to combating ransomware is preparing for it before you are even targeted. Taking the proper steps to ensure your cyber safety has become a necessity. Read our other article “Show me the Bitcoin!! Or else.” to further learn about the different kinds of ransomware and some of the proper steps in preventing you from becoming a target.