Last year's May and June witnessed two gruesome cyber attacks that headlined the front pages in almost every country. Businesses all over the world were affected by two Ransomwares called the WannaCry and Petya. Companies in UK, Ukraine, US, and Russia were considered as the prime targets of both the Ransomwares. Of the 61 registered antivirus tools, a mere 31 of them were able to detect the ransomware threat. Such was the severity of those Ransomware attacks that it prompted the entire cyber security world to redraw its cyber security threads.
The root cause of those attacks on any system are through the negligence of people to check the sender's authenticity before opening any attached links in the mail. When half of the registered antivirus tools failed to detect a ransomware threat, one would least expect a normal system user to know about how to handle a ransomware attack. The Indian Cyber Army (ICA) constantly thrives on building a safer internet experience for every user. In accordance with that mission, we've came up with this little blog to help you understand what are the simple steps you need to take to avoid a ransomware attack on your system. Before that however, take a look at what a ransomware attack actually means.
What does Ransomware mean?
Ransomware is basically a malware that surreptitiously installs itself on any unprotected system. After getting installed, it locks all files by encrypting the root directory of your system. Now, when the user tries to open the files, it displays a message ask in for some ransom in exchange of the decrypted key required to access the files. Last time around, the messages on systems affected by WannaCry and Petya asked the users to deposit a $300 payment as ransom to a specified bitcoin wallet.
How to Protect Yourself from a Ransomware Attack.
Based on the various cyber security threats that have come up since the WannaCry and Petya attacks, we, at the ICA, have chalked out these four basic things one can do to keep all the ransomware attacks at bay. These tips are also the basic tools that will help you avoid almost any cyber attack.
1. Do not open any suspicious attachment/link from any untrusted sender.
This is the most basic path for a ransomware to enter any unprotected system, through malicious links. When you click on these links no new window or tab might open up, but in the background ransomware starts getting installed. To avoid ransomware or any other malware from entering your system, it is mandatory to avoid links and attachments received from unknown senders. If you're unsure about any sender, you can simply dial up the cyber crime helpline number of ICA and get the authenticity of the sender instantly cross checked.
2. Keep Your OS Updated.
Keeping your operating system up-to-date is a basic necessity for any system network. An outdated version of the operating system becomes more vulnerable to hacking. Developers keep updating the operating system in order to make sure hackers remain confused and fail to find a way to crack it. Thus, updating your operating system ensures more security, though it still doesn't ensure you won't come under any attack but it ensures an attack on your system becomes more difficult to execute.
3. Install top Anti-Virus on your entire System Network.
Though 30 of the 61 registered antivirus tools failed to detect WannaCry and Petya, 31 of them did warn the user beforehand. Anti-Virus tools helps your system stay resistant to potential threats and hack attempts that can harm your system. To check with the top Anti-Virus tools available, you can take assistance through the Cyber Crime Helpline Numbers of Indian Cyber Army (ICA).
4. Backup your Files Regularly.
Backup is as necessary as anything else. A backup can help you recover your files even after a ransomware has affected your system. You can backup your files on a cloud storage or an external storage. Ransomware can affect the external storage device also if it remains connected when the ransomware affects your system. However, Backups still remain to the clear cut solution for ransomwares.
Jeffrey Esposito of the Kaspersky urges people who get affected by a ransomware to join hands and support "No More Ransom", a collaborative project to help eradicate ransomware.
Indian Cyber Army strives to help people become aware of all the cyber security threats that make internet experience more threatening. ICA's Cyber Crime Helpline Numbers are always open for people who face any threat while surfing the internet.