How To Avoid Being a Target of Ransomware

Ransomware has become one of the most threatening coercion among Cyber-Criminals. If you don’t know what Ransomware is, read on and let Acronis help you become a trusted IT advisor for your end users!

Ransomware threats are very real!  It is a type of malware, which blocks entire operating systems or parts of files and documents until the victim pays a monetary ransom. If you use email, browse websites, spend time on social networks, or connect to local networks, whether it be at work, at home, or in public spaces, you are at risk. If you also either use removable USB drives, whether on a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet, you are always a click or two away from a possible ransomware infiltration. Once infected, you’re in danger of losing all of the files on your computer. Ransomware is a small piece of criminal software that highjacks your computer by encrypting your files, denying you access to them, and then demands online payment for their release. It’s one of the most shameless forms of cyber extortion, and in some cases, actual blackmail. The most common sources of Ransomware attacks come from Email phishing attacks, Social network ransomware attacks, and also Ransomware infected websites. However, Cyber-Criminals can be very crafty, trying to lure their next victim in the most unsuspecting ways, but Acronis can help you outsmart these Ransomware gangs!

Prevent Ransomware- don’t be a victim. Outsmart cyber-criminals with a few simple steps. It’s easy, but only if you know what to look for.

What does a ransomware attack look like?

Ransomware is a well-developed one-billion-dollar criminal industry. There are many different types of ransomware, but most of them are similar in their execution:

  1. Ransomware file is downloaded to a user computer.
  2. Ransomware is installed on the computer — usually with the user’s help, e.g., opening an attachment or double-clicking a link as described above.
  3. Ransomware starts quietly encrypting the victim’s files (this can be either immediate, or delayed).
  4. When the file encryption process is complete, ransomware displays a ransom message with a countdown timer and instructions how to pay. Normally the victim is asked to download a Tor browser and make an anonymous payment using the online crypto-currency Bitcoin.
  5. Ransomware may also attempt to spread to other systems on the same network as the infected device, including local backup servers

What to do if you became a victim of a ransomware attack?

If you have become the victim of a ransomware attack, you have very few options.

  • Restore your system from a backup.
  • Format the hard drive to wipe out all data and then re-install the operating system and applications. You lose all of your personal data, may face costly additional licensing fees to restore your old software environment, and still face the threat of future ransomware attacks.
  • Pay the ransom and hope that your data will be restored. However, there are no guarantees that paying up will restore your files.) Some ransomware gangs don’t deliver the promised decryption key. Others may be caught by authorities, or disappear before they can deliver on their end of the ransom bargain.

What is the best way to protect your computer from ransomware?

Until an active protection technology becomes commercially available, backup (with a copy of backup data stored in the cloud) is the only sure way to recover your data after a ransomware attack without paying the ransom.

Run full image backup with Acronis True Image. If your system is compromised, you’ll be able to restore the entire system at once, without going through files one by one.

Ransomware poses a real threat to every computer user and every device connected to the internet. Get educated, be vigilant, and spread the world with your friends and family. Don’t be fooled, and protect your data with backup!

On January 18, Acronis True Image 2017 New Generation with Acronis Active Protection™ feature was released. The innovative product received the GOLD Self-Protection Award from Anti-Malware Testing lab. The new feature provides users with a new level of ransomware protection as it detects first symptoms of new and known ransomware attacks, making the backup more secure, and reducing the number of times data needs to be restored from the backup.

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