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Kaspersky talks about different types of ransomware and free ransomware protection, decryption tools

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ANI  |  Internet 

With the recent few intense cyber-attacks taking place globally it is a good practice to understand how these cyberattacks work and how can they be prevented. Kaspersky talks about different types of Ransomware and how to protect yourself from ransomware and how to mitigate any damage that's already done.

Ransomware is malicious software that uses a variety of methods to get onto devices, then encrypts some or all of the files they contain and demands a payment to restore access to your valuable data.

The software can infect your computer if you, say, plug an unfamiliar USB stick into your computer, visit a malicious site, or download and run a malicious file from the Web or an e-mail attachment. Even being on the same network as an infected computer, and doing nothing wrong, maybe enough to get infected with ransomware. One type even looks like a Windows update.

The ransom request specifies payment in bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency), which makes it very difficult or even impossible to trace the payment.

The malefactors say they will return your files if you pay the ransom. But in reality, your ransom payment is no guarantee of a safe return for your files.

According to Kaspersky's research, 20 per cent of ransomware victims who paid did not get their files back.

The average demand is about USD 300. A careful consideration rather than a hasty payment is recommended.

Cybercriminals prefer bitcoins. This cryptocurrency cannot be forged. The history of transactions is available to anyone, but the owner of the wallet can't easily be tracked.

The most suspicious files are executables (like .exe or .scr), with Visual Basic scripts or JavaScript (.vbs and .js) not far behind. Another dangerous file category is Microsoft Office files (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, and so forth). They may contain vulnerable macros.

Macs can be and have been infected with ransomware. There are not as many ransomware programs for macOS as for Windows at the moment, but we are sure the number will increase in the coming years.

CryptMix ransomware tells victims their "donations" will go to a children's charity.

Petya and Misha are both ransomware, and they are delivered to victims together, in one package. Petya and Misha are distributed by means of phishing letters pretending to be job applications.

WannaCry Ransomware takes your data hostage, promising to return it if you pay a ransom. WannaCry targets computers using Microsoft Windows as an operating system. It encrypts data and demands payment of a ransom in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin for its return.

A new version of Shade ransomware adds ".no_more_ransom" to the end of each encrypted file.

Ransomware recovery is a mixed bag, and avoiding infection is the best path in every way. Do not download suspicious files, click suspicious links or open e-mail attachments that are unexpected or from unknown senders.

Back up your files frequently as well. That way, even if ransomware locks or blocks your files, you can recover them without paying a ransom.

The free Kaspersky Security Cloud -- Free protects personal devices not only from ransomware, but from a huge range of other threats, and Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business, which is also free, can be installed alongside other security solutions and does not conflict with them.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, February 16 2020. 16:56 IST