The Dangers of Ransomware
Ransomwares are complicated malwares that use cryptology to craft malicious and dangerous viruses. These ransomwares operate by making all the private data of the target public or by blocking the access of the target to their information. The block is usually put against a ransom and a limited time period is provided within which the victim is asked to pay the money.
Simple ransomwares can often be easily dealt with, but there are more powerful and complex malwares which use cryptoviral methods to extort money out their victims. The term cryptoviral refers to the development of viruses that use channels based on cryptology for their attacks. These ransomwares encrypt the target's files, and a payment is demanded the key which decrypts them.
Extortion through Ransomwares
The money is usually extorted in the form of cryptocurrencies. This makes it incredibly hard to detect the source of the crime since the transaction records cannot be accessed by any kind of third party agency. Ukash is one of the popular cryptocurrency that is often used for extortion through ransomwares.
Ransomwares have grown significantly in the recent years. The availability of cryptocurrency has only made it easy for them to proliferate. Business companies are one of the most vulnerable targets of such ransomwares as they have enormous amounts of sensitive information. Not only large-scale businesses but also medium and small industries are targets for such ransomwares. In 2013 it was revealed that the number of ransomware attacks had nearly doubled since the previous year. Ransomwares have only grown in number since then. Some of the worst ransomwares that the internet experienced were WannaCry, NotPetya, and Bad Rabbit.
Fighting against Ransomwares
Typical antivirus software is not efficient at detecting or stopping ransomwares. More often than not, precautionary measures are applied in order to safeguard against ransomwares. One of the most effective strategies used by companies is to maintain an isolated or offline backup of all their vital information and files. The ZFS file management system designed by Sun Microsystems is by design immune to ransomwares. It has the capability to create instantaneous backups of even extremely large data files. These backup files created by the ZFS system are read-only files and are hence immune to change.
Additionally, there are software tools available which are specially designed to decrypt the encrypted by such ransomwares. But the results take several days to appear finally.