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Your Guide To Ransomware In 2016

What is Ransomware?

The most daunting threat to the internet as we know it is a popular, fairly new form of hacking called Ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware that infiltrates your network security veil and seizes your most sensitive files. Once in control of your important documents, it demands a ‘ransom’ payable to an often anonymous person or group in order to unlock the files.

Top 5 Most Dangerous Ransomwares

As you may have guessed, the ransoms for the unlock key can be extreme. With some losses totaling $20 million, it’s important for private users and businesses to take ransomware seriously. To help all internet users better prepare, spot and react to a ransomware attack, we’ve listed the most dangerous ransomwares in circulation today. Here they are:

  1. Locky – Locky is widely considered the most dangerous ransomware today. It is much like other ransomwares, but Locky takes the hack a step further and changes your file extension. This completely locks your data and puts it out of reach until the ransom is paid. It typically targets users via spam email attachments.
  2. Petya – Instead of blocking files one by one, Petya blocks access to the entire system by infecting low-level structures on the disk. It infiltrates a system’s master boot record and overwrites it with a virus that ultimately encrypts a portion of the hard drive so the user cannot access the system at all. Petya is typically downloaded via spam email attachments.
  3. CryptoLocker – Deemed one of the ugliest ransomwares, CryptoLocker not only temporarily blocks access to your sensitive files, but it can also result in permanent data loss – virtually locking down your system for good. It is usually downloaded via emails from a phony company.
  4. KeRanger – KeRanger is best known as the first ransomware to attack a Mac. It can infect an entire folder of data, including files with common document extensions. It was first found infiltrating the Transmission, which is a popular platform for file sharing.
  5. CryptoWall – This ransomware mainly targets the most important data in a user’s system, i.e. financial data. Surprisingly, however, the ransom usually demands a few hundred dollars, which doubles after a certain time period. CryptoWall is typically downloaded through spam, malvertising, etc.

New On The Scene: ‘Maktub’

‘Maktub’ is a new form of ransomware that has burst on to the scene as of late. It gets distributed much like the malwares above, yet Maktub can compress files. Once compressed, the hackers offer the victim a choice of two files to unlock, while the rest of the data is held hostage. Ransom payment typically increases as time goes on. After 15 days, the hackers threaten to erase your stolen data completely unless they receive payment.

Final Thoughts

Cyber criminals have always searched for bigger and better ways to make money online. However, ransomware has revolutionized computer hacking and continues to reinvent itself. If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that ransomware is here to stay. And guess what? It’s working.

We Will Protect Your Business.

Benton Technology Solutions specializes in cyber security for businesses in Central NC. We take ransomware very seriously, and we are trained to do whatever it takes to seal your data from an attack. Contact us today to learn more about ransomware protection!