The threat from Ransomware is rapidly increasing and both users and companies are being targeted by malicious code aiming to control and manipulate data. Ransomware were for many years primarily used in Russia, but has begun spreading to the US and Europe.
This type of threat is not a new phenomenon however there have been an enormous increase in reported attacks the last few years. A larger It-security company based in the US, reported that it’s users, in the 1st quarter of 2013, had been attacked by ransomware in more than 250.000 incidents – an increase by more than 100% since the 1st quarter of 2012.
Ransomware locks your system and claims important data on your system as hostage. This could be important work-related files, sensitive personal files, holiday pictures or something completely else. If you do not pay the ransom within the given timeframe, the hackers will destroy or erase those files infected, leaving you behind with a potential unrecoverable loss.
In some cases, it has been reported that sensitive data have been released, as a way to pressure other victims to pay the ransom. We advise you to NEVER pay any ransom, for any reason. In most cases where ransom have been paid, the hackers simply delete all infected files leaving no possible way to trace them – and leaving you without the files.
Paying any ransom will also increase the likeliness for further attacks, since the hackers now know that you are willing to pay the ransom.
The best way to defend yourself and your data is as in many cases to be extremely vigilant when installing new software, opening files or mails you do not trust.
We always advice users to install security software such as Anti Explorator in order to identify, locate and remove threats on your system. You can download and try Anti Explorator for free here.
You can read more about Ransomware in our Security Encyclopedia