What to do when you are hit with ransomware?

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May 12th of this year witnessed a global Wannacry Ransomware outbreak which targeted more than 200,000 computers across 150 nations. The cyber threat not only exploited all unpatched Windows machines but once again proved that the digital world is extremely vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attacks.

Cyber Security firm Kaspersky released a recent white paper titled ‘The Ransomware Revolution’. The Russia-based security firm clearly mentioned in its research paper that ransomware hackers are now launching an attack for every 40 seconds unlike every 10 minutes till last year. So, this gives us a clear picture on how the ransomware developers have revolutionized in the past few months.

Now, to those who aren’t aware of what to do when they become a victim of ransomware, here’s what Kaspersky suggests to them-

Disconnect the web- The first and foremost thing to do is to disconnect the victimized computer/s from the network by pulling out the Ethernet cable connecting the system to the router or disabling the wireless functionality if it is a cable free service.

Do not pay the ransom- Kaspersky suggests not to pay a ransom to the victims as there is no guaranty that the hacker will return you the decryption key or will not demand more to return the decryption key. It’s better if you contact an IT expert for help and use his/her suggested tools to free your system from ransomware.

Use backups- always make sure that your data is backed up to date. So that when a ransomware hits your PC, you can just do a clean install and use the backed up data to restore all the lost data to continue your business.

Safe mode can save you- If in case, your PC is hit by ransomware, try to boot the system in safe mode and run a deep scan with a reliable antivirus software. If in case, the malware has blocked your PC from booting up and selecting the safe mode option, then you can use tools such as Kaspersky Windows Unlocker run from a USB key to clean up the ransomware to gain back the access.

Approach professionals- If the data residing on the infected PC has high value then it is better to approach an IT firm who can unlock the files on a professional note.

Be proactive- We all know that prevention is better than cure. So, in such case, it is better to be proactive, rather than being reactive.

a.) Make sure that you keep your backup offsite like on a cloud storage.

b.) Ensure that you do not enable Macros in docs attached in emails

c.) Use a Microsoft viewer to view the document instead of opening it on a complete note.

d.) Never click on emails links sent by unsolicited contacts.

e.) Keep your OS updated with the latest security fixes.

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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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