Ransomware is malicious software (Malware) that locks the user’s computer or mobile device and also encrypts any resident data files. The user is totally locked out of his/her device except for the ability to contact and/or pay the online extortionist. If there is no current backup available the victim is faced with the unfortunate choice of either formatting the hard disk or paying the ransom.
Europol advise victims of ransomware not to pay the ransom as it is not a guarantee of future security as a backdoor may have been inserted in the code. Secondly, the attacker may just take the money and vanish.
The “No More Ransom” website is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.
Click on the “No More Ransom” logo above for access to a database of over 160,000 unlock keys for various ransomware attacks. The database is updated regularly so make it your first port of call if you or your friends suffer a ransomware attack.
Prevention is better than cure. Backup important files regularly. Use a reputable Firewall and keep your Anti-virus and Anti-Malware software uptodate.