Cyber Security: Ransomware and How to Protect your Data, Ransomware is a kind of malware which affects your files by encrypting it. You will not be able to access your data until you pay up a ransom to the attacker. There are various methods you can use to make the payment, and once determined, you receive a decryption key which will help you access your data.
How it works
Ransomware comes in several ways. One of the most common ways is in the form of an email. A user will download the email thinking it is an important file. After the download is complete, the attacker will gain control over the victim’s computer. There are social engineering tools that can easily trick a victim into allowing them to access essential information.
Effects of Ransomware
After the Ransomware takes over your computer, there are many actions it can do. The most common example is encryption of files that belong to the user. You need a mathematical key to decrypt your files and the only person who has access to it is the attacker.
The user receives a message which tells them that they can only get back their files if they make payments. The payments are not traceable because they are made through Bitcoin. Some attacks may be disguised as a security measure, however, this is not a common approach.
Targets for Ransomware
Attackers have certain criteria in selecting organizations. Some attackers may target schools and universities because they have minimal security and a considerable amount of data sharing. It is easy to go through their defense compared to other organizations. They also target organizations which are willing to pay immediately, such as government agencies or medical facilities.