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What is ransomware?

1/1/1900 12:00:00 AM

A type of malicious software designed to block access and encrypt enterprise network or computer or servers until a sum of money is paid

  • ·        How does it work?

After infecting your computer, the malware finds files with JPG,XLS, PNG, DOC and PPT file extensions. These files are usually important images and documentation, so there is a good chance the attacker will encrypt a file that you need.

After encryption, the malware tells you that your data is being held for ransom and gives you a site to access. You typically need to access this software using a browser like Tor. You also need to buy bitcoins to pay the Attacker, as bitcoin. Reports have shown that many people pay the ransom, because the files are just too important to give up, and there is currently no guaranteed method to decrypt files and also there is no guarantee if you pay ransom you will get your files back.

  • ·        How do you get infected?

The method of infection varies for most viruses, but ransomware is typically packaged with installation files masquerading as official software updates. They are advertised as updates for Adobe Acrobat, Java and Flash Player etc. If you’ve opened underground websites such as torrent sites, you’ve probably come across some of the ads used to distribute malware. Typically, a popup opens telling you that you need to update Adobe Acrobat. Like this way attacker will take full access to your files.

  • ·        How to protect yourself from Ransomware?

Several antivirus companies have come up with ways to remove the virus, but that doesn’t decrypt the files. Unfortunately, you don’t have many options unless you have backups of your data, but you can protect your computer with some common sense.

First, don’t ever download from a site that tells you software on your computer is outdated. Websites aren’t able to detect outdated software unless you give the website permission to read your hard drive. If you think your software needs an update, go to the official product developer’s site and download it directly from there.

Next, always keep the latest antivirus definitions installed on your computer to defend against all types of malware. The one main issue with ransomware is that once you get infected, there is nothing you can do to reverse the damage. It’s better to be proactive with antivirus updates than wait until you’ve already become a victim.

Finally, always keep backups of your files. Attackers know that most people don’t keep backups. Even some businesses fail to keep regular backups, and it’s a big mistake that usually leads to some kind of data loss. Always keep regular backups in a safe place. Note that you can’t keep them on your local hard drive, because these backups might also get encrypted.

Viruses are becoming stronger and more resilient to common defenses. The best defense is to use common sense and avoid downloading executable files unless you absolutely need to. Keep your antivirus software updated and never installs software if you’re unsure of its security.

Check your computer; please open a ticket request with us if Anti-virus software is not installed in your computer. Never click on advertisements or links which you are not sure of.

You can open request by going to our website www.psu.edu.sa andclick on Service Desk and then click on Service Desk System. Log in and open are quest.

  • ·        Who to report once you are infected?

Once you are infected open a ticket request

You can open request by going to our website www.psu.edu.sa andclick on Service Desk and then click on Service Desk System. Log in and open arequest.

Courtesy; "Combofix"