Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from using your computer or accessing certain files unless you pay a ransom. It often encrypts your files so that they cannot be opened.
The history of ransomware: The history of ransomware begins in 1989 when Harvardtrained Joseph L. Popp created AIDS Trojan and spread it through snail mail using 5¼” floppy disks. About 20,000 infected diskettes were distributed among those who attended the W.H.O.’s International Aids Conference.
Types of ransomware: There are most commonly two types of ransomware, namely crypto ransomware and locker ransomware. While crypto ransomware encrypts files, folders, hard drives etc, the locker ransomware would lock users out of their systems or devices and deny total access to the system/device itself.
There is also a third type of ransomware called the leakware (or doxware), which would exfiltrate sensitive data and then threaten to publish that data unless a ransom is paid.
Mobile ransomware, targeting mobile operating systems, are on the rise today.
How to prevent Ransomware?
- Educate all staff on information security best practices
- Test all levels of the organization for their understanding
- Never open unverified emails or the links/attachments in such emails
- Create backups of all critical systems and data
- Regularly update the backup. Ensure that all software, programs and applications are regularly updated
- Use security tools to monitor and alert when malicious code has been detected on the network
- Preform virus scan regularly