Ransomware is a kind of malware which encrypts a database and restricts access to the user/s until a ransom is paid. And in order to counter it till date, we had certain decryption software offered by cyber security firms which were being used in cleaning up the malware mostly.
Technically speaking, all operating systems prevailing in this date like Windows 10 have some kind of sophisticated anti-malware defenses which help prevent users from falling prey to ransomware attacks. But honestly speaking, no system is immune from outside interference when it comes to practicality.
However, a professor from Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science in association with a Ph.D. scholar Lianying Zhao has developed a novel method to protect computer networks from ransomware attacks.
Dubbed as Inuksuk, the method uses hardware to protect sensitive data. In this method, a pre-installed Self Encrypting Drive called SED creates a partition that is self-protected with a keyword. As the keyword changes on a random note, it makes it hard for hackers to break into the system.
So, users just need to install the Inuksuk program which allows the SED to pair with a Trusted Platform Module(TPM) Chip which is again attached to the computer’s central processing unit. Here, in case of any unauthorized access, the TPM blocks any process other than a valid Inuksuk Program from accessing the SED password.
Note- The SEDs and the TPMs are chips which are being manufactured by major hardware companies.
Currently, this safe partition method allows users just to read the files and thwarts encryption attempts by malware. If in case a user needs to write data to the safe location, then they need to know the keyword.
Additionally, the highlight of this arrangement is that OS will be inactive while the Inuksuk is operating. So, any malware that makes its way via email phishing and attachments will remain inactive while the files are being protected while being modified.
More development on this hardware protection from ransomware is needed and so the details are awaited!