Wednesday, 21 October 2020 22:14

5 Steps to Recovering from a Ransomware Attack

Written by Stu Sjouwerman, PropertyCasualty360
5 Steps to Recovering from a Ransomware Attack rawf8/Shutterstock


Barely a week goes by without ransomware making the headlines.

With COVID-19 accelerating a hyper-connected world, ransomware attacks will become even more disastrous. For instance, the unfortunate death of a patient at a hospital in Germany was linked to a ransomware attack that disrupted emergency care.


What is ransomware and how does it work?


Ransomware is a form of computer malware used by cybercriminals to encrypt digital assets. They then threaten the victim to erase it or release it in the public domain unless a ransom has been paid. 


Phishing is probably the most common method of delivering ransomware although savvy criminals are also known to use a combination of social engineering techniques to fraud victims.


Once the malware is deployed and the victim’s data is encrypted, attackers display some sort of a screen with instructions on how to unlock files.


Most ransomware strains use RSA 2048, an extremely strong encryption. There is no guarantee, however, that hackers will unlock your files after receiving payment.


Paying the ransom invariably involves the use of cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, as it does not have any physical representation and is stored in anonymous digital wallets. Once the payment is made, scammers provide decryption software that starts the arduous process of decrypting the files.


Ransomware attacks have not only grown in volume this year but also in severity. Research suggests that the average ransom demand has soared by 100% in the first half of 2020 and then climbed another 47% in the second half of the year.

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