It’s not always this easy…
A recent headline in ‘Technewsworld’ read “Gang Surrenders Key to TeslaCrypt Ransomware Kingdom“. According to the article “After the criminal gang behind TeslaCrypt recently abandoned support of the malicious software, an Eset analyst contacted the group anonymously, using the channel offered to ransomware victims, and asked for the universal master decryption key”.
It would be nice if life in the digital world was always that easy…simply ask the bad guys for the key to the ransomware…and they hand it over. Unfortunately it isn’t always that simple. In most cases, a user downloads a malicious virus while cruising a sketchy website and the data on the user’s computer is encrypted and held for….ransom. Unless the user pays for the ‘key’ to decrypt the data, in ‘X’ amount of time….the clock is ticking…the data will be permanently lost. And people are paying! From police departments to health care facilities, ‘victims’ have been paying the ransom to get their data back.
What can you do to avoid being a victim? The primary way is to train the members of your organization to be extremely careful of the websites they visit and to be especially careful in their download activities. If the malicious software isn’t downloaded, it can’t attack. Also, be certain that your anti-intrusion software is up to date.
Most of the problems associated with computer viruses is directly related to human activity. We are humans, and we make stupid mistakes, often doing what we know we shouldn’t be doing. The best way to avoid this, or at least minimize the risk is to train, train and train.
Learn more about protecting yourself and your business from ransomware at the National Cybersecurity Institute.
Peters, S. (2015). Police Pay Off Ransomware Operators, Again. Retrieved from the Internet at http://www.darkreading.com/attacks-breaches/police-pay-off-ransomware-operators-again/d/d-id/1319918