What is ransomware and how does it work?
What is Ransomware ?
So, what is ransomware and how does it work?
There is a type of malware known as ransomware, which encrypts data or a computer system and threatens to expose it or block access to it until a ransom fee is paid to the attacker. Typically, the ransom demand is time-limited.If the victim doesn’t pay in time, the data is gone forever or the ransom increases.In crypto-currency ransomware, ransom payment amounts are usually specified in bitcoin due to the perceived anonymity offered by the digital currency. Ransom prices fluctuate depending on a ransomware variant's price and the exchange rate of the digital currency.
This type of attack takes advantage of human, system, network, and software vulnerabilities to infect the victim’s device—which can be a computer, printer, smartphone, wearable, point-of-sale (POS) terminal, or other endpoint.You and your device may be at risk due to ransomware, but what makes this type of malware so unique? The word "ransom" describes the type of malware. It is extortion software that locks your computer and demands a ransom to unlock it.Cybercriminals are targeting consumers and businesses as well as all industries with ransomware attacks. Major companies in the United States and Europe have been affected.According to the No More Ransom Project and several government agencies, paying the ransom encourages the spread of ransomware.A majority of victims who pay the ransom will likely suffer repeat ransomware attacks, especially if the malware is not successfully removed from the system. this is what is ransomware and how does it work.
How does ransomware work?
so,what is ransomware and how does it work An asymmetric encryption technique is used by ransomware to encrypt and decrypt files. A public-private pair of keys is generated by the attacker as a unique key pair for the victim, with the private key used to decrypt the victim's files. As seen in recent ransomware campaigns, the attacker does not always release the private key to the victim once they've paid the ransom. Without the private key, it is nearly impossible to decrypt the files.The ransomware world is full of many varieties of the threat. Often, ransomware (as well as other malware) is delivered via spam email campaigns or targeted attacks. Malware needs an attack vector to establish its presence on an endpoint.
As soon as ransomware successfully exploits a computer system, it installs and executes a malicious binary on the infected machine, which then searches for and encrypts valuable files, such as Microsoft Word documents, photos, and databases.Encrypting ransomware used to target primarily personal computers, but business users have increasingly become victims, since businesses are willing to pay far more to restore access to critical systems and resume normal operations than individuals.There is a possibility that ransomware could exploit system and network vulnerabilities to spread to other systems and possibly across an organization.Ransomware encrypts files and demands a ransom in 24 to 48 hours to decrypt them, or the files will be permanently lost.It is possible for the victim to restore his or her personal files by paying the ransom if he or she does not have a backup. this is how what is ransomware and how does it work.
Why is Ransomware Spreading?
Phishing was a primary starting point for ransomware infections and threat actors used it more as more people started working from home.Attackers use email to spread ransomware since it is cheap and easy to use, so it is convenient for them. Phishing emails target all types of employees, including both low- and high-privileged users.The malicious macro runs, downloads ransomware to the affected device, and distributes its payload. Users are accustomed to passing documents through emails, so opening a file within an attachment is not a big deal. Ransomware is a common malware attack due to the ease of spreading it via email.
What is ransomware and how does it work
9 steps for responding to a ransomware attack
1.Isolate the infected device:
One ransomware outbreak is a small inconvenience. An outbreak of ransomware that affects all devices throughout your company is a major catastrophe that may put your company out of business.It is imperative that you disconnect the affected device from the network, internet, and all other devices as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your network, share drives, and other devices.Your chances of infecting other devices will be lessened if you do so sooner rather than later.
2.Stop the spread:
Until you isolate the infected device from the network, you cannot guarantee that the ransomware does not exist elsewhere on your network because ransomware moves quickly -- and the infected device isn't necessarily Patient Zero.All devices that behave suspiciously, including those operating off-premises, must be disconnected from the network to effectively limit the scope of the attack. If they're connected to the network, they present a risk no matter where they are.At this point it would also be wise to turn off wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.).
3.Assess the damages:
Check for files that have recently been encrypted, and on any devices that are experiencing issues such as odd file names or difficulty opening documents to determine whether they are infected.If you discover any devices that haven’t been completely encrypted, they should be isolated and turned off to help contain the attack and prevent further damage and data loss. Your goal is to create a comprehensive list of all affected systems, including network storage devices, cloud storage, external hard drive storage (including USB thumb drives), laptops, smartphones, and any other possible vectors.It would be prudent at this point to lock shares. If possible, make sure that all shares are restricted; if not, ensure that as many as possible are restricted. Doing so will stop any ongoing encryption processes and also prevent additional shares from becoming infected while the remediation process is carried out.It would be prudent at this point to lock shares. If possible, make sure that all shares are restricted; if not, ensure that as many as possible are restricted. Doing so will stop any ongoing encryption processes and also prevent additional shares from becoming infected while the remediation process is carried out.But before you do that, you might want to check out the encrypted shares. Seeing how many open files one device has more than normal can provide you with useful information: perhaps this is Patient Zero.
4.Locate Patient Zero:
As soon as you have identified the source of the infection, it becomes significantly easier to contain it. To do so, look for any alerts you may have received from your antivirus/antimalware, EDR, or any active monitoring platform.Due to the fact that most ransomware is spread using malicious email attachments and links, people can also help by asking what activities (like opening suspicious emails) and what they have noticed in the past.Last but not least, checking the properties of files themselves can provide another clue - the owner of the files is likely the entry point.
5.Identify the ransomware:
It's important to determine which variant of ransomware you're dealing with before proceeding. You can do so by visiting No More Ransom, a worldwide initiative McAfee has joined.The site has a suite of tools to help you free your data, including the Crypto Sheriff tool: Just upload one of your encrypted files and it will scan to find a match. You can also use the information included in the ransom note:A search engine query of the email address or the note itself may be helpful if it doesn't spell out the ransomware variant explicitly. Having identified the ransomware and performed some research about its behavior, the next step is to inform all unaffected employees as soon as possible so they will recognize the signs that they've been infected.
6.Report the ransomware to authorities:
For several reasons, you should contact law enforcement as soon as you contain the ransomware.First of all, ransomware is against the law—and like any other crime, it should be reported to the proper authorities. Secondly, according to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Law enforcement may be able to use legal authorities and tools that are unavailable to most organizations.”It may be possible to leverage collaborations with international law enforcement agencies in order to find the stolen or encrypted data and bring the perpetrators to justice.A breach involving EU citizen data may also have compliance implications: Under the GDPR, a breach not reported to the ICO within 72 hours could result in hefty fines for your business.
7.Evaluate your backups:
Ideally, you should have an uninfected and complete backup created recently enough to be useful. Your next step is to restore your system from a backup. This is the easiest and fastest way to do so. If so, the next step is to employ an antivirus/antimalware solution to ensure all infected systems and devices are wiped free of ransomware—otherwise it will continue to lock your system and encrypt your files, potentially corrupting your backup. Once all traces of malware have been eliminated, you’ll be able to restore your systems from this backup and—once you’ve confirmed that all data is restored and all apps and processes are back up and running normally—return to business as usual.In the age of modern ransomware, which is increasingly sophisticated and resilient, many people who have taken the time to create a backup are shocked to find that it has corrupted or encrypted it, as well, making it completely useless.
8.Research your decryption options:
In situations where there is no backup, there is still the chance to get your data back. There is an increasing number of decryption keys available for free on No More Ransom.If one is available for the variant of ransomware you’re dealing with (and assuming you’ve wiped all traces of malware from your system by now), you’ll be able to use the decryption key to unlock your data. Even if you’re fortunate enough to find a decryptor, however, you’re not done yet—you can still expect hours or days of downtime as you work on remediation.
You may have to cut your losses and start over if you don't have a backup and cannot locate a decryption key.The only option you have once you've exhausted all else is to rebuild. It won't be easy or cheap, but it is the best choice.
What is ransomware and how does it work
Ransomware Protection -
Here are several best practices that can help you prevent and protect against Ransomware infections in your organization:
1.Back up your data :
Having a backup copy of your critical files, preferably on an external hard drive and in the cloud, will help you to keep them accessible should you be locked out.Therefore, you will be able to reinstall your files from backup in the event you got infected with ransomware. This will protect your data and you will not be tempted to pay the malware authors.Backups won’t prevent ransomware, but it can mitigate the risks.Regularly backup data to an external hard-drive, using versioning control and the 3-2-1 rule (create three backup copies on two different media with one backup stored in a separate location). If possible, disconnect the hard-drive from the device to prevent encryption of the backup data.
2.Secure your backups :
If the data resides on systems where it can be modified or deleted, make sure it is not accessible.Ransomware will look for data backups and encrypt or delete them so they cannot be recovered, so use backup systems that do not allow direct access to backup files.
3.Use security software and keep it up to date:
Make sure all your computers and devices are protected with comprehensive security software and keep all your software up to date. Make sure you update your devices’ software early and often, as patches for flaws are typically included in each update.
4.Patch Management :
Keep the device’s operating system and installed applications up-to-date, and install security patches. Run vulnerability scans to identify known vulnerabilities and remediate them quickly.
5.Application Whitelisting and Control:
Establish device controls that allow you to limit applications installed on the device to a centrally-controlled whitelist. Increase browser security settings, disable Adobe Flash and other vulnerable browser plugins, and use web filtering to prevent users from visiting malicious sites. Disable macros on word processing and other vulnerable applications.
Conduct drills to test employees' abilities to recognize and avoid phishing emails, as well as training them how to recognize social engineering emails.Use spam protection and endpoint protection technology to automatically block suspicious emails, and block malicious links if user does end up clicking on them.
7.Practice safe surfing:
You should be careful where you click. Do not respond to emails and texts you do not know, and only download applications from trusted sources.This is important since malware authors often use social engineering to try to get you to install dangerous files If you wants your system to be virus, Trojan, ransomware and malware free CyberBugs provide a cyber security auditing to your organization and also provide a consulting regarding cyber security vist on cyberbugs.in and contact us for more information.
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