SSDs or Flash drives might save victims from Ransomware Attacks

    When a ransomware attack takes place on a database all the files are encrypted making it inaccessible for the victim to read, modify or write them. This prolongs until the victim pays a demanded ransom in cryptocurrency to the ransomware author or the spreading agent.

    Although companies and cybersecurity firms are constantly busy in releasing security and software patches to tackle ransomware, those who unfortunately fall prey to attacks generally end up paying the ransom to free up the data from the encrypting malware.

    However, this could pretty soon change from the victim’s point of view as a group of security researchers from the University of Illinois has found a solution to tackle ransomware.

    Recently, they released a whitepaper titled ‘Project Almanac- A time-traveling solid state drive(SSD)’ which helps the victim by storing modified files in a separate drive making it impossible for hackers to gain monetary benefits.

    “The paper explains how the SSDs can be leveraged to storage newly written or modified data in a separate place other than the regular drive”, said Chance Coats, a researching student at the University of Illinois.

    Nowadays, flash-based drives are part of every system like a laptop, desktop, mobile or IoT device. And that’s because they store the modified data in a new location rather than getting rid of an old version. Mr. Coats feels that those old versions of data will help in thwarting ransomware attacks as it helps in reviving the previous version of the file.

    But the technological tool seen in SSDs comes with a tradeoff as the new data has to be stored on a new block or the block that has already been erased- all due to a policy of retention duration and storage performance.

    Researchers have found a solution for this tradeoff by developing a tool to monitor and adjust the storage parameters on a dynamic note. Thus, it allows users the option to backup data within a stipulated amount of time.

    Developments on the stage of retaining the data for longer periods of time with a lower performance overhead are being taken up which might help other applications such as systems debugging and digital forensics.

    Naveen Goud
    Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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