As if the traditional malware weren’t enough, a new form of malware has stormed the computers in the last few months. For a person who has encountered ransomware for the first time, it is not less than a nightmare.
Imagine a situation that after waking up one day and opening your laptop, you come across a note that the important data on your laptop has been held down for ransom. Not only this, but the Ransomware won’t allow your computer to safely boot. Afterwards, in a matter of seconds, there appears a message on your screen which tells you that your computer has been blocked.
In most cases, the aforementioned situation is followed down by a message to the victim. The victim is told by the Ransomware about the instructions on how to pay the ransom. While you might report to the local authorities for assistance, this matter won’t come under their jurisdiction as the proposed hacker would be sitting thousands of miles away. Thus, as brutal as it might sound, the only way you could get access to those files would be only after paying the ransom.
In the last 2 years, there has been a meteoric rise in Ransomware attacks all across the globe in general, but Europe in particular. While most of that Ransomware demand cash, some also demand Bitcoin.
This trend of the Ransomware has seen an upsurge because of the way modern Computer users are ditching traditional storage in favor of the most advanced digital storage. Not only are the users storing their important files, but their family photos are increasingly populating these digital storage devices. Thus, the danger of Ransomware has increased manifolds now than it would have, say, a decade ago when hard disks were used.
We take a closer look at how Ransomware has impacted the modern users in the past couple of years. And most importantly, what we can expect from it in the coming months.
Basics of Ransomware
As described earlier, Ransomware is a modern form of the ancient malware but with increased effects. Not only it encrypts the files, images, PDF and word docs, but it would also hijack the devices thereby forcing individuals to pay theransom.
The route of entry that has been used by Ransomware is typically traditional. The user receives an email which contains a word document in the form of an attachment. One click on that file executes the Ransomware and before the user knows it, the computer is locked down.
After discussing how it enters the system, let us take a look on the classification of the Ransomware.
Being the basic version of Ransomware, the Locker locks the user out of their computers in the hope of seeing ransom money in return. For example, you might feel that your computer has hanged but a message on the screen would tell you otherwise.
While the aforementioned description sounds terrible, let me tell you a good news. Despite its vicious functionality and the ability to disable the important computer functions, Locker won’t encrypt the files and images on your computer. Thus, even if you aren’t willing to pay the ransom, your data won’t be damaged.
As suggested by its very name, crypto Ransomware encrypts the documents, videos and pictures that are either present on your computer or attached to it via a digital source. This creates an alarming situation because even though the user can see where his files are – unlike Locker Ransomware, they won’t be able to access it without paying the ransom.
This Ransomware epitomizes the threat for the users by giving a deadline to pay the ransom. Much like the Hollywood movies where the villain demands ransom or else makes a threat of killing the victim, the hackers tell the victims that they would delete the files if the deadline isn’t met.
In addition to the aforementioned types of Ransomware, 2015 was inundated with the following Ransomware types …
Linux Server threats:
When the Linux Malware first appeared on the scene, the security agencies were able to circumvent their way to the files by a decryption tool. However, the hackers fought back as they introduced a new version which, until now, has resisted any such decryption efforts.
Although it has lent many of its functions from the ordinary Crypto Ransomware, the Cryptowall 4.0 has taken a step forward through its file obfuscation ability. By changing the names of the files which it corrupts, this Ransomware makes it impossible for the victim to even identify his/her files without paying theransom.
Sent in the form of invoices which were claimed to be overdue, Tesla Crypt was part of a massive spam campaign that targeted Internet users last year.
Of all the Ransomware that are mentioned in this article, Locker is probably the most unique. While its route of destruction was same to any of the aforementioned, the manufacturers of Locker apologized for the “inconvenience” by deleting this Ransomware altogether in the summer of 2015.
Although its effect isn’t as large as its Computer-targeting counterpart, 2015 was a year of evolution for the Android Malware. This Ransomware demanded $500 through a MoneyPak voucher for the decryption of data.
What lies ahead?
While it might subdue you, but the fact that Ransomware is here to stay cannot be understated. In fact, many researchers are also claiming that the evolution of Vehicle-targeting Ransomware cannot be negatedas well. In addition, Ransomware targeting the health of individuals through pacemakers might also rock the world in the coming years.
Article Submitted By Community Writer