Basically, in the field of cyber security there are 5 malicious items that can affect your entire computer system, which are Virus, Worms, Malwares, Trojans and Ransomwares. Yes, Ransomwares and Viruses are completely different.
What is a Ransomware?
Ransomwares, as the name suggests are one such malicious items that can be only removed from your computer after supplying a sum of money as ransom.
How can it reach to me?
What happens is, the current name ‘WannaCry’ is defining ransomware but a ransomware file can be anything with any name. A ransomware can be a text file, word file, music or video file. It can be shared to you as a .pdf file or a link to a porn site (yes, we are not joking).
All you could do is click or execute that file, if you don’t then you’re completely safe, but if you do, then it’s a goner.
What does it do when I execute a Ransomware?
Ransomwares, once executed, encrypts all the data on your computer, literally all the data. Encryption means converting something into a coded form so that no one could understand it, and you could not access it.
After it encrypts your data, there appears a timer on your screen with a ransom amount alongside it. Timer might define how much time you have to pay that ransom defined.
You can understand it by the example of kidnapping. After kidnapping a person, the kidnappers ask that person’s family for some amount of money, if they receive the money they will release that person unharmed otherwise they won’t. Same is with Ransomware situation, the kidnapped person is your computer data, the family defines you and the kidnappers are Black-Hat hackers who infected you with Ransomware.
How can I save myself from such attacks?
- Buy an updated Anti-virus like, Avast or Norton.
- Disable SMB to Prevent against Ransomware attacks.
SMB comes enabled by default on Windows, which users are advised to disable immediately.
Search “Windows features,” open “Turn Windows Features on or off” settings, Uncheck SMB, Click OK and restart your PC.
One-line PowerShell command to disable SMB v1:
“Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature –Online –FeatureName smb1protocol”
The first method can be considered easier than the second one.
- You can take care that you do not download any file that your browser is warning you about. And even if the browser doesn’t warn you, if it is a promotional offer by any company or an unknown person, first verify the identity of that person or verify that the promotional mail or offer done by company is valid by company, and only then download anything attached. You can always Google to verify promotional offers.
- Please take note that Ransomwares might also affect your Smart Phones, because Smart Phones can be considered as small computers. Do not download any unknown data or data from any unknown person that you have received as an SMS, or an advertisement on any application or on WhatsApp.
Only a little sense of awareness can save your millions.
Have any doubts; please let us know in the comments section below.