Data Got Kidnapped: 4 Signs You Are a Victim of Ransomware

May 23, 2018 / GuidesFor Team

A few years ago, the word ransom would only apply to situations involving a life form such as a person being kidnapped. Starting 2005 it became a known despicable threat to the cyber world.

Ransomwares are now usually attached to malwares carried by phishing emails. PhishMe reported that in the first quarter of 2016, 93% of malwares contained ransomwares. Malwares alone are a great source of trouble; just imagine how it can get worse when combined with ransom.

One of the enterprises that got victimized was the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. They ended up paying 40 Bitcons, or equivalent to $17,000 just to recover their data and get back to normal functioning. This incident was severely threatening as it interfered with the health services of the said hospital. According to a separate report by CSO Online, about $1 billion in corporate revenues were taken away by ransomware criminals last year. The amount was solely based on bitcoin-wallet that is a common form of ransom collection.

How will you know exactly when you’ve been hit by a ransomware? IT Authorities names 4 signs:

 

  • “A splash screen blocks access”Victims will be alarmed upfront by the sight of a lock screen message indicating the system infiltration. The ransom price and payment details can be sometimes found on this screen as well.
  • Files that won’t open” One of the pressing features of ransomwares is that you will lose access to your files. Attempting to open them will lead to an error message indicating a ‘solution’ to the problem.
  • “Odd or missing file extensions” – Similar to other types of malwares, you will see an uncommon file extension such as .crypted or .cryptor. The extension may also be invisible and therefore undetectable by your OS.
  • “You’ve received instructions for paying the ransom”Since this infection requires money to get resolved, hackers will surely leave a note on their payment terms. If it’s not on the splash screen you may find it on a file suggesting you to read it.

 

Norton advises victims to not pay the fee. Cyber criminals can not be trusted because there will never be a guarantee that data will be recovered even after paying up. But as stated in the IT Authorities article,“the question of whether or not to pay is itself controversial.”  Just like in the case of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the administration was tremendously pressured to pay the ransom as the lives of their patients were at stake.

Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more dangerous. Ransomware strains are multiplying. Hackers are more determined to extort bigger sums of money.  And if you’re not doing standard security measures such as backing up your files and using strong security software, then you are inadvertently inviting ransomware hackers to enter your system.

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