|This article is an attempt to prevent Ransomware attacks and provides the best possible solutions with a focus on Systweak Antivirus and the ‘No More Ransom’ website initiative.|
Ransomware! A word that sends down shudders down the spine of most people.
Technically speaking, Ransomware is a type of malware (Malicious Software) that encrypts and locks your files and folders on your computer. It then displays a prompt or message via text file asking users to pay a certain amount as a ransom for decrypting the locked files and to make them usable again. There is a time limit attached in most cases, and failing to comply might result in a complete loss of your files and folders.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware is malware that is disguised as a harmless app or file and sent on the victim’s PC typically through email as an attachment. Once the attachment is opened, the malware is then released onto the user’s system and begins the data locking mechanism. This can happen on a personal computer as well as on a company’s server and all clients across its network. If the malware can be detected in its early stages, then it can perhaps be stopped, else you would require a key to decrypt your files.
Ransomware can bring your work and life to a standstill for everything you do or can do on your PC would come to an abrupt halt. There are no guaranteed safeguard measures that could completely prevent a Ransomware attack but it can be avoided in some cases. To understand this process, let us first understand what an Antivirus/Antimalware application does.
An antivirus application is designed to scan, identify and eliminate files that have been infected with malware. This process is carried out by updating the antivirus applications with virus definitions frequently. However, if a new type of malware enters your system that is not on the virus definition list, then your antivirus software cannot detect that malware even if it scans the file multiple times. Ransomware attacks often contain new malware that cannot be detected by normal antivirus.
Protection Against Malware: Systweak AntiVirus
Introducing Systweak Antivirus, a new generation of antivirus software that scans your computer on a real-time basis for potential threats. This means this application is always on, 24/7, running in the background, and not only looks for malware on the virus definition list but identifies potential threats as well. This is done by keeping a watch on programs and files that are hogging your resources or performing suspicious activities like renaming multiple files etc.
Systweak Antivirus is a VB100 certified antivirus that provides Exploit and Malware protection ensuring that your system remains safe from malware, viruses, zero-day threats, PUP, Trojan, and adware. The real-time protection instantly detects and neutralizes threats almost instantly as they are detected. This application also offers users to schedule PC scans that automatically start in the background and do not require human intervention. Other exclusive features available in Systweak Antivirus include:
Startup Manager. This module helps users to disable unknown and unwanted apps that automatically startup when the computer boots up.
Stop All Ads. Systweak Antivirus contains an ad-blocking module that blocks ads displayed on browsers which not only hamper your surfing experience but are the main source of adware and trackers sent to your PC.
Active Virus Control. This app monitors actions and tasks performed by all the installed programs and ensures no damage is carried out.
Automatic Updates. Systweak Antivirus’s team of experts is constantly working to find out the latest developments on malware. This research is then converted to patches or updates which are automatically sent to all the users of Systweak Antivirus when they connect to the internet.
Easy to Use with a Trial Version. Systweak Antivirus has a simple interface that can be used by anyone using a PC and is well placed within the budget of a common man. A 30-day trial version and 60-day money-back guarantee should not deter you from trying it out.
Decrypt Your Files without Paying Ransom – No More Ransom
I believe that it is quite evident that once Ransomware enters the victim’s system, the files are encrypted, and to decrypt them the victim needs a key. This key will be provided to the victim only after the ransom has been paid (there is no surety iif all encrypted files can be recovered even after paying the ransom). This experience can be difficult for many to bear. However, the good news with regards to Ransomware attacks is a new initiative by Europol, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Politie that houses a collection of 121 tools to decrypt files attacked by 152 Ransomware families. This service is available FREE OF COST and is available in 37 languages.
No More Ransom is a service for all that are infected by Ransomware and discourages people from paying the ransom as this would encourage malicious actors to keep infiltrating systems and asking for ransom. This website is on a constant search for new tools and keeps adding new decrypters to its database.
A report from Cybereason indicated that 80% of the companies that paid up easily were hit with a follow-up attack again and half of them by the same malicious group. The cuber insurance companies had to bear losses due to 41% of claims that aroused due to Ransomware. The US Department of Treasury believes the payment of ransom to be similar to funding a criminal enterprise.
Europol advises all ransomware victims not to pay. Instead, they should report the crime and check the No More Ransom website for decryption tools. The Crypto Sheriff module also helps to identify the type of Ransomware and provides instructions on what to do next. As a precautionary measure ‘Disconnect the machine on which Ransomware has been first observed and isolate it from the network’.
The Not so Final Word on Ransomware
Ransomware is an ongoing topic that troubles most of us and will continue to do so because when a security measure is adopted, there are a bunch of misguided geniuses who can hack or bypass that security measure. The antivirus companies then put new measures in place which are once again breached by malicious actors and thus this process continues.
Paying ransom to threat actors is strongly not recommended and instead, precautionary measures like installing real-time antivirus software like Systweak Antivirus must be implied on all your machines. In case of a breach, disconnect your PC from the network and use the No More Ransom website for a decrypter.