Die fünf besten Wege, um Ihr Endgerät vor Ransomware zu schützen

In a previous blog post , we looked at botnets and how to protect your device from becoming a zombie. In this article, we are dealing with one of the most serious and now most widespread forms of cyberattacks, the so-called ransomware.

An infographic of five tips to protect your device from dangerous ransomware.

In a nutshell: what is ransomware

Ransomware is a cyberattack in which hackers encrypt / block the victim’s data until it pays a ransom. There are two types of ransomware currently infecting systems around the world.

Encrypting ransomware:

It contains advanced encryption algorithms that block system files. The victims are asked to pay to receive the key to decrypt the blocked content. Examples are CryptoLocker, Locky, CrytpoWall, etc.

Ransomware Crypto Cryptolocker

> A screenshot of a CryptoLocker request

Lockout Ransomware:

This type of ransomware blocks the victim from the operating system. So it is no longer able to access the desktops or any applications or files. The files are not encrypted, but the attacker still requires a ransom to unlock the infected computer. Examples are police ransomware or Winlocker.

Ransomware loose

> Request for regulatory ransomware

Rise in reach and impact:

Uncovered ransomware cases

Source: CERT.RO

In 2013, just 1,200 people said they were victims of ransomware. Between January and March 2016, IT security organizations have already documented more than 700 cases resulting in a financial loss of approximately $ 9.39 million. Not only does this forecast include the ransom paid, but also the cost of replacing computers and implementing stricter cybersecurity measures after an attack.

Ransomware attacks can be particularly dangerous because new versions often contain even tighter encryption. In addition, the attacker is often not satisfied with a one-time payment, but demands more and more. In some cases, even after paying, they will not even issue the key that will allow you to decrypt your data.

How to protect your device from ransomware:

The following five tips will help protect your device from ransomware:

  1. Make regular backups and save them separately in different places. Ideally, one backup should be stored offline (on a secure external drive) and the other on a secure and confidential cloud service.
  2. Use up-to-date software versions and play security patches in a timely manner. Remove obsolete plugins from your browser. Only use Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Java and Silverlight plugins if you absolutely have to.
  3. Use a guest account with limited access privileges for daily / general use and an administrator user account for specific purposes only.
  4. Attachments and links should only be opened if they come from trusted sources . Spam links and content – even if you click ‚click here to log out‘ – should never be clicked.
  5. If you are asked to enable macros in a Microsoft Office file, you should definitely answer ’no‘ .

But if you are still a victim of a ransomware attack, then the following links may help you get your data back!

At this link you will find an extensive list of ransomware decryption tools.

Note: Not all data encrypted after a ransomware attack can be decrypted afterwards!

Also, read the following tips to help protect your online privacy .

The harsh reality of ransomware (as in most malware cases) means that it is difficult to undo. Therefore, as always, the golden rule of prevention is „be careful“ at all times.

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Werner Grohmann

Werner Grohmann ist Online-Redakteur und Content Marketingberater für deutsche und internationale IT-Unternehmen. Er ist für die deutsche Version des Mailfence Blogs verantwortlich.

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