What is ransomware?
One type of malware that is actively threatening to destroy people’s data is ransomware. Once ransomware infects your device, it encrypts your data so that it is not usable. This could include any network drives you have read/write access to.
Criminals will usually leave a note that tells you to pay a ransom in order to get your data back. Most of the time, they’ll ask for the payment to be in cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.
While some forms of malware rely on being subtle and remaining hidden, ransomware makes itself known and gives you specific instructions to follow!
Here’s what the Ryuk Ransomware note looks like once it encrypts your data:
How does ransomware spread?
It is typically delivered through phishing emails with malicious links or a malicious email attachment that activates it.
Stay vigilant and keep your eyes out for phishing emails!
Should you pay the ransom?
We advise against it. Since you are dealing with criminals, there is no guarantee that they will decrypt your data.
Even if they do decrypt it, there is always potential for something to go wrong with the decryption or for additional malware to affect your device.
What’s the best way to recover from ransomware?
Back up your data! This way if you do get infected, you have a way to recover your data after rebuilding or cleaning up your computer.
Review the security tips to get more information on protecting yourself from malware or phishing attacks.