Yes you heard it right. Ransom for stealing your data and giving you back your own data. This is what happening in cyber crime now days. Ransomware is latest and most dangerous way of stealing your money and destroying your privacy. What ransomware does is that it make it’s way into your computer via email or counterfeit software and encrypt all your data. That would totally lock you out from your computer and it will ask you to pay $300 to $600 in equivalent Bitcoin to give you back access to your data. It may also warn you to increase ransom money after crossing specific time limit.
Once your computer is attacked by Ransomware, It will try to spread itself to another computers via LAN or internet. Recent study shows that Europe. Russia,UK, Asia were hardest hit by Ransomware named Wannacry, Where hospitals were forced to turn away patients . It mainly targets older versions of windows like windows xp, Windows server 2003 ,Windows vista and unpatched version of Windows 7 too. In india, RBI ordered banks to open ATM’s only after installing patch as 60% ATM’s in india runs on windows xp. It is targeting government offices ,hospitals, police stations that runs mainly on windows xp or outdated version of windows.
If your computer got hit from Ransomware Wannacry, It will show screen something like this(Image above). There is no kill switch that could give you back your data immediately. Cyber experts suggest you not to pay ransom rather wait for Cyber Security companies from to release it’s free solution, as there is no guarantee for you to get back your data after paying ransom. But if your computer is safe. You can take following steps to secure your computer as cyber experts said that Wannacry inventors might be working on newer and more advanced version.
Precautions if your computer is safe till now
- Regularly update your windows for latest security fixes.
- As support for Windows Xp /WIndows server is stopped long ago. Upgrade to newer version if possible. If you cannot upgrade, Then you must install very critical security patch from given link. Download Patch KB4012598
- Microsoft suggest you to install and update windows defender and activate windows firewall as it will protect suspicious activities. Else update your antivirus as companies like Avast and Kaspersky said that they already updated their software to detect ransomware Wannacry.
- Backup all your important data on external drive as who knows if they release more advance version that could hit our systems. So in case your data got encrypted ,you can restore it.