Computers across the world were locked up and user`s files held for ransom when lots of countries were hit in a cyber-extortion attack that targeted hospitals, companies and government agencies and critical infrastructure agencies including banks, airports, telecom networks and stock markets also.
In most cases, the software infects computers through links or attachments in malicious messages called as phishing emails. “The age-old advice is to never click on the link in an email”. “The idea is to try to trick the victim into running a malicious piece of code”.
The software usually is hidden within links or attachments in emails. Once the user clicks on the lick or open the document, that particular computer is infected and the software takes over.
What are Malware and Ransomware?
Malware is the general term that refers to software that is harmful to computers. Ransomware is a kind of malware that essentially takes over a computer and prevents user`s from accessing data on it until a ransom is paid.
How Ransomware works?
“It finds all your files and encrypts data and leave a message. If you want to dcrypt it, you have to pay.”
The ransom encrypts data on the computer using an encryption key that only the attacker knows. If the ransom isnt paid, the data is frequently lost forever.
How to avoid these kinds of attacks?
· Regular Backup
· Ensure that security updates are installed (Antivirus Software)
· Update and patch your computer: Microsoft has released software patches for the security holes, while not everyone has installed those updates. "If your software is not patched, you can exploit that user. Anyone who applied the patch that Microsoft released likely wasnt affected by this.
· Users should also look for malicious email messages that often masquerade as emails from companies or people you regularly interact with online. It is most important to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in those messages, since they could unleash malware.