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Held Hostage: Properly Handling Ransomware Attacks

Unless you happen to be a cyber criminal, ransomware is bad news. So for the rest of us who might have a run in with a cyber criminal who uses ransomware as a method for extortion, it’s important to know what to do and how to handle such situations. Thankfully, we’re going to provide such tips to stop an individual from holding your data ransom and how to prevent them from getting away with their crime.

Held Hostage: Properly Handling Ransomware Attacks

What’s Ransomware?

Ransomware is known as a form of malware that either blocks access to your files (via encryption) or holding your computer hostage. Once a person is infected with ransomware, they’re usually ordered to pay a ransom in order to retrieve their data. Since the ransom can usually range between hundreds or thousands of dollars, many individuals who are unprepared for such attacks end up paying the amount and suffer the financial setback – regardless if get their data after paying the ransom.

How Ransomware Is Spreading & Evolving

With ransomware finally receiving national attention on the news, it’s safe to say that it’s only evolving and becoming more common in the future. This is mostly due to the fact that cyber criminals are utilizing modern technology that make the most dangerous links seem completely harmless.

One specific ransomware strand that has been causing concern has been CDT-Locker. Being incredibly hard to detect, CDT-Locker is capable of hiding in files and going unnoticed by security software. To make them even more threatening, hackers have managed to get people to download such files by utilizing tricks that make them seem harmless. An excellent example would be a hacker (posing as your utility company) claiming that they are about to shut off your power if you don’t fill out a form. Another example could be a hacker utilizing social engineering tactics (to pose as a contact you know) to get you to click on a link via email.

To make matters even more bothersome, cyber criminals will even use newsgroup postings and social media to post their malicious codes. By taking advantage of human reactions, cyber criminals have no problem benefiting making money at another’s expense.

What To Do In A Ransomware Attack

There’s a few guidelines one should follow in the event of a ransomware attack. Such guidelines are:

  1. Regardless if you’ve found a questionable file or received a pop-up window demanding payment, the first thing you’ll want to do is to contact law enforcement. Although it’s likely that they might not be able to offer immediate assistance, they should be notified of what’s going on in regards to your attack. Once you’ve contacted the police, contacting the FBI is necessary so they can begin to take action on the matter.
  2. The next thing you’ll want to do is to contact your service provider. Make them aware of your situation so they can take action and rectify the issue. Doing so not only makes it easier for them to solve your problem, but this helps them prevent ransomware attacks in the future.
  3. The third thing you’ll want to do is to turn off the infected computer and disconnect it from any networks that it could be connected to. By containing the malware, you can prevent further damage to other computers within your network. Many individuals do not know that ransomware can take down an entire network of computers if the infected computer remains on the same network, so removing the infected computer from the network is necessary to stop the problem.
  4. The final step is up to you – if you weren’t prepared for a ransomware attack beforehand. If you end up paying the ransom, it is possible that you might not receive your data and end up with a financial setback that could happen again. for example: the cyber criminals already got you once, what would prevent them from attacking you once more? In addition to this, cyber criminals tend to want payment in bitcoins or over the Tor network, since these methods of payment are virtually untraceable. Caving in to the ransom not only makes their illegal acts easier in the future, but it allows ransomware to become much larger problem in the future.

However, if you have been backing up you files and information via the cloud or through physical drives, you won’t have to suffer such traumatic experiences. By having this upper hand in a ransomware situation, the cyber criminals remain powerless since they don’t have anything that you don’t already have in your possession.

So regardless if you happen to be a small business or a large corporation in Pasadena, Los Angeles and across Southern California, it’s important to back up your files to avoid such severe circumstances. Thankfully, TMS Tech is here to solve your problem. Since a few hours of backing up information on other platforms can save you hundreds of dollars (and time lost medicating headaches during the ordeal), preparing for such situations is one of the the best ways to combat and prevent the event of a ransomware attack. Contact us by info@tms-tech.com or (800) 519-1872 today so we can save your business a lot of hair pulling in the future.