Ransomware & Virus Protection
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or computer files until a hefty ransom is paid in exchange for the access. Most ransomware encrypt the files on the affected computer, making them inaccessible, and demand a ransom payment to restore access.
Ransomware code is more than often not sophisticated, and it doesn’t need to be. Unlike traditional viruses and malware, ransomware doesn’t need to remain undetected for long in order to achieve its goal.
Ransomware is commonly delivered via email that appears to be legitimate, enticing you to click a link or download an attachment that delivers the malicious software, or via drive-by-download attacks on compromised or malicious websites.
Whether or not the ransom is paid, keep in mind that attackers are always attempting to extract useful data from a compromised machine. When it happens, it’s safe to assume all sensitive data on the machine was compromised, including usernames, passwords for internal or web resources, payment information, email addresses of contacts, and even more highly sensitive information like social security numbers.
According to the DOJ, an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred per day in 2016 in the U.S., a 4x increase over 2015. The FBI reports more than $1 billion in ransoms were paid in 2016, up from $240 million in 2015. The costs continue to rise as well. Recent research from Cybersecurity Ventures predicts ransomware attacks will cost the global economy $6 trillion annually by 2021.