What is the ransomware? How to prevent it? How to deal with it?

as already know by newspapers, newscasts and websites and blogs, Telefónica and other important companies and agencies have been victims of the ransomware . But is it dangerous? This type of malware itself is not, but the consequences. For example, several hospitals in the United Kingdom have been left without computers, having to lead to postponements of operations.

what is the ransomware?

in these last days you’ve heard that word more than a thousand times, like pronunciations (including “Ramón Ware” ). But what really is the ransomware ?

look at first its name. In English, “ransom” means rescue, while the “ware” comes from the word software . As its name suggests, is a program that “hijacks” your computer . IE handles prevent that we use our computer, and to use it generally are asked to make a payment of a sum of money to the Web criminal.

but how dangerous this is when hijacked computers are personal computers, but the hospitals, banks, telecommunication companies or security agencies. As in the case of gravity and quantity of devices affected, you can reach halt the activity of the enterprise or organization . For example, without going further, after the attack of this phone week ordered most of its employees home for not being able to work.

 graphical representation of the ransomware. graphical representation of the ransomware.

The criptoware, a derivative of the ransomware

WannaCry malware we saw this week and that caused problems around the world, is a ransomware of a very special kind. Call this type criptoware .

the difference is that instead of locking control of all operating system, in the criptoware what I do is a little different. In this case the cibercriminal encrypt through this virus the victim computer files. In this way, if the user wants to regain access to your files you must pay a certain amount to the offender. Although, nothing assures you that after paying the criminal you the key that will allow you to decrypt your files…

 WannaCry, the ransomware or cryptoware that affect large companies this week. WannaCry, the ransomware or cryptoware that affect large companies this week.

How to prevent getting infected by a ransomware

now that you know what is the ransomware we will see how to prevent it. But this is a rather complicated task. In fact, unless that aisles completely your computer is impossible to be 100% insurance that you’re not going to be infected. Unless aisles your computer from the outside…

how spreads

to avoid being infected, should first know how to reach you and is spread.

this type of malware can be spread in many ways, but the most popular is through downloads or post attachments. In addition, these can use security holes in operating systems to achieve its goal. And in this sense, the ransomware can be treated like a virus, since once infected a computer will try to infect other computers related to this.

once program is on your computer of the victim, the difficult is done. Now you only need this block access to the system in some way, or in this case, that encrypt all the files in the user with one or more keys known by the criminal but unknown by the victim. In this way, to unlock access to the computer or data need help from the Web criminal, which will not help you if you do not pay you either support a medicine by . The problem is that the medicine might not be developed at the time of the attack, so it would be to wait for this believed, if it gets… “

 email, the main means of distribution of the ransomware. email, the main means of distribution of the ransomware.

Updated operating system and caution

today there is no infallible for method e vitar be the victim of a ransomware . The biggest trick is caution and knowledge, because many malicious programs of this type requires an action by the user.

and the operating system? Does it matter? for this week which affect Telefónica, Iberdrola and Gas Natural or BBVA, the operating system that were running the computers were Windows . And all indications are that only Windows computers were affected. But here is what is worrying. And is that was last updated Windows computers were not affected, because the security hole which was used the ransomware was already fixed in the latest version. Therefore, this makes us ponder if this chaos that was formed around the world could have avoided with the simple fact of being up to date on updates.

-affected countries the ransomware which was released this week. countries affected by the ransomware which was released this week.

Ahh… so if I use macOS or Linux I’m sure no? Maybe not at all. In this case the virus only affected computers with Windows because it was designed for this platform. But the existence of ransomware is also known for Linux both macOS . But also there it for mobile operating system Android and iOS .

then does not depend on your operating system but have it updated yes can be a very important factor. In addition, some ransomware may also be detected with a specific program (antivirus/antimalware), although not all are “cache” by this agent.

how to deal with it?

Although it is very difficult that you are infected by this week, because now it is alleviating, nothing guarantees that you can not be victim of the following ransomware . Let’s what should you do if it happens to us us…

pay?

and what do I do if I pass to my? First important thing is to analyse the situation calmly. According to experts, pay the ransom while it may be the easiest solution not always is.

for two reasons. The first is that nothing guarantees you that if you pay the cibercriminal you will return the access to your computer or your data. This is not PayPal or Amazon, there is no guarantee you that after your purchase you will receive the “product”. The second reason why authorities do not recommend payment is because that will only encourage the criminals . Likewise in this case already not only by the money received, but because it is something world it models of the bitcoin collapsed, what you allegedly would allow criminal win millions of euros to buy it when they are cheap and sell bitcoins when they are expensive.

 chart of the bitcoin the day of the attack the bitcoin market opened with a value of $ 1830. After the attack, this declined to $ 1696.

Backups

and how regained access to my computer or my data? In both cases, the solution is to backup. But of course, to do this you must have them…

that’s why have backups a day and in various locations is elementary. And this is one of the things that anyone who read this article should be recalled. So far this is the best method to recover after being the victim of a ransomware .

Yes, have backup is a roll, but we assure you that today it is one of the best decisions you can take. And not only for the ransomware but for anything that could negatively affect your data. If you want to learn how to make good backups I recommend strongly to read our article on the 3 rules of backup .

 backup

Conclusion

themeSecurity is very important and this week has shown the damage that can be caused if this is not respected. what do you think about what has been lived this week? I hope I have at least rinse is the ransomware how to protect you, and what to do if you become victims. Any questions or comments feel free to write it.

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