What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is nothing new. It’s been around since the 1980s, but it has become more sophisticated and dangerous as hackers’ techniques and payment collection methods have evolved.
If you’re not familiar with the term “ransomware,” it refers to malware that gets installed on a computer system or network that locks access to the device and demands payment in return for restoring it to normal. Ransomware can also encrypt the data, making it inaccessible. Other attacks are even more aggressive. The malware will begin collecting sensitive data, and the data kidnappers can demand payment in exchange for not releasing the data to the public or selling it to other hackers.
This last method is particularly damaging because it can result in your organization being liable for data breaches, making a bad situation even worse.
The Alarming Statistics Surrounding Ransomware
- Ransomware attacks are on the rise, up 715% in 2020.
- Nearly half of businesses face phishing and ransomware attacks in 2019.
- 60% of businesses that are hit with ransomware close within two years after the attack.
Ransomware Attacks – The 3 Main Types of Ransomware
- Lock-Screen Viruses
- Encryption Ransomware
This relatively simple form of ransomware attacks both individuals and businesses. They typically show up as a warning on your computer screen telling you that you have a virus or technical issue that needs to be resolved. You might be given a phone number to call (sometimes a fake Microsoft number) to get assistance in restoring your computer.
It’s not Microsoft or any other business on the other line. It’s a hacker trying to collect payment in cryptocurrency in exchange for providing a “service.”
A similar but more aggressive alternative to scareware is a lock-screen virus. Here, you might get a full-screen warning that your computer is compromised, and you’ll be given instructions on how to restore it.
The call to action might be an innocuous “call our tech support division for help,” or a more straightforward approach that doesn’t attempt to hide the motivation of the attack and asks for money on the spot. To hide their identity, hackers often ask for Bitcoin.
This ransomware is the most dangerous, and it can be extremely destructive to a business. In this scenario, the hackers gain full access to your computer and network and begin encrypting the data, making it impossible for you to access.
Ambitious hackers might also duplicate the data and hold it hostage, threatening to release or sell it unless you pay them. Even then, there’s no guarantee that they won’t follow through with the threat.
The methods for getting access to a computer vary. The most common are:
- Phishing emails: Someone impersonates a boss, coworker, or other organization and asks for some sensitive information.
- Malicious email attachments: Opening them can install the malware on your device.
- Visiting compromised websites: As soon as you visit the site, the malware begins an auto-install.
Ransomware Data Recovery – What to do After an Attack
Getting expert help to restore your computer, recover compromised data, and secure against future attacks is the smart plan of action. Remember – you’re not alone.
Many businesses and government agencies have fallen victim to these schemes. You might recall that in 2019, the city of Baltimore was locked out of all its systems for more than a month due to ransomware. It affected hospitals, airports, and even ATMs. The ransom was a paltry $76,000, but it ultimately cost the city $20 million to become whole again.
You might be tempted to just pay the ransom and get it over with, but the sad reality is that this doesn’t guarantee you’ll get all (or any) of your data back. This surrender also makes you a target for future attacks. Avoid paying the ransom, and get in touch with TechFusion instead. We’re available 24/7 to get to the bottom of the issue and begin the process of defeating the attacker.
Ransomware Recovery Services
Whether you’ve been hit with ransomware or you want to secure your organization from an imminent attack, TechFusion is here to help. We’ve been thwarting ransom attacks since their inception in the 1980s. Because we’re able to think like an attacker, we can anticipate their moves and know how to protect you from their nefarious ways.
Our services include:
- Data backup
- Security installation and updates
- Network assessment
- Proactive systems management
- Microsoft patch management
- Real-time network monitoring
- Remote technical support
- 24/7 availability
Four Reasons To Work With Us
1 30+ Years Experience
2 Certified & Secure
3 Manufacturer Approved
4 Exceptional Service
TechFusion In The News
With over 30 years of experience, TechFusion has worked on many high-profile cases and helped companies and government officials to solve mysterious cases. Our capability has earned us extensive local and national notoriety in both digital forensics and data recovery. Browse through our media gallery to see why TechFusion is the trusted source for all data recovery, digital forensics, e-discovery, cybersecurity, and ransomware
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