How to deal with the rising threat of ransomware

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Raffles
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How to deal with the rising threat of ransomware

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Post by Raffles » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:34 pm

by Ben Dickson (@bendee983)

Of all the money-making schemes hackers employ, the most prevalent is perhaps ransomware, a malware that is usually delivered through infected email attachments and hacked websites or websites featuring ads. Ransomware encrypts files on a user’s computer and renders them unusable until the victim ransoms the key for a specific amount of money.

Cybercriminals are making millions of dollars from ransomware. According to forecasts and assessments made by experts, the threat of ransomware will continue to rise in the months and years to come. Recently, several organizations were badly hit by ransomware, including a police department in Massachusetts, a church in Oregon, schools in South Carolina schools and several medical centers in California and Kentucky, one of which ended up paying the attackers 40 bitcoins (approximately $17,000).

Attacks on individuals seldom make the headlines, but in 2015 alone, the FBI received some 2,500 complaints related to ransomware attacks, which amounted to approximately $24 million in losses to the victims.

Technologies such as modern encryption, the TOR network and digital currencies like bitcoin are contributing to the rising success of ransomware, enabling hackers to stage attacks with more efficiency while hiding their trace.

In many cases, victims are left with no other choice than to pay the attackers, and even the FBI often advises victims to pay the ransom as the only recourse. Traditional methods and tools no longer suffice to deal with the fast-evolving landscape of ransomware viruses, and new approaches are needed to detect and counter its devastating effects.


Full report at Tech Crunch



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Raffles
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What to do if hackers hold your computer hostage and demand cash

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Post by Raffles » Tue May 17, 2016 11:56 am

More tips :

By Daniel Howley
May 15, 2016 8:28 AM

You’re sitting at your computer when you get an email from your local bank saying you were just hit with a charge for a new $1,200 MacBook that you never bought. You click the email and follow the embedded link or download the included receipt to find out what’s up.

Just like that, your computer has been infected with ransomware. You can’t access your files, and all you can see is a timer counting down the time until hackers delete your computer’s drive unless you pay them a fee in iTunes gift cards.

All you can do is scratch your head and wonder what the hell just happened. Well, I’m here to explain that to you — and to help you fight back against ransomware criminals.

The most important thing to remember is this: Never, ever pay the ransom.

Ransom?

Let’s start with the basics. A particularly nefarious form of malware, ransomware is a piece of software criminals use to lock you out of your computer by encrypting its files and holding them for ransom for a specific dollar amount.

If you don’t pay up, you can potentially say goodbye to your photos, tax documents, pay stubs, and any other documents you’ve saved throughout the years.

This isn’t some idle threat, either. If you don’t pay, your documents will disappear or simply stay locked up until you completely reformat your system.

Ransomware programs sometimes require you to pay in Bitcoin, an anonymous currency that can’t be tracked.

Read the full report at Yahoo Finance



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