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Infected With Ransomware? Get Ready to Pay a Ransom for Your Personal Data

When the concept of malicious software was first introduced, the idea was to plant them and disrupt the victim’s computer. The intent was destructive more than anything else and there was no other use. With time, malicious software and their applications evolved, making them more useful to the miscreants who wish to steal sensitive data, disrupt programs and control the target’s computer, etc.

Today, malicious software is so advanced that they are almost programmed to have an intelligence of their own. You may have seen or heard about viruses that evolve on their own in computers. On the same note, recent surveys have noted a specific type of malicious software known as ransomware is infiltrating computers all over the world. This is a very ingenious and unique method that we have never seen before.

What exactly is Ransomware?

Just like any other malicious software, ransomware is a code that is programmed to achieve a certain objective. In this case, ransomware uses a specific type of encryption to encrypt all the data on your hard drive. This will render all the data on your computer to be useless unless you decrypt it. But for the decryption to happen, you should enter an encryption key that is available only with the miscreant who planted the malicious code in the first place.

The message that is displayed when you try to access data on your computer is formatted in such a way that you should pay a certain amount of ransom if you want your data to be safe. There might also be a warning message in the post script that suggests that if you try to crack the encryption with brute force (guessing the code till you end up with the right one) the software will erase your hard drive completely after a certain number of attempts.

There is also a more destructive type of ransomware that starts deleting data if you do not pay the ransom soon. The more you delay, more data gets disrupted causing you to lose valuable data. Although this does bring down the value of the whole concept of ransomware, this type of tool is also classified under the same name.

How Is It Planted On Victim’s Computer?

Planting ransomware is similar to planting other malicious code on your computer. They can be embedded in a free tool that you downloaded from the internet. They can be downloaded to your computer from a page that you were redirected to from a post or a message by an anonymous Facebook or Twitter account; it can be downloaded to your computer while you watch adult content in private, etc. The point is not to worry about   how it got on your computer. It is how to prevent it from getting to your comp. If it does become active and encrypts your data, there is no way of gauging the extent of damage that it can cause to your computer.

What Is The Solution?

Obviously, the best way to go about is to avoid getting infected by ransomware. You are aware of how to avoid the online security risks. If your computer does get infected, there is a chance that you can isolate the areas in which the infection is happening. This can be possible only if you have virus protection software from a reputed online security solutions vendor. If you purge those sectors of the hard disk, the data will be deleted but you can protect the remaining sectors. If you have the backup of your hard drive, a complete format and reinstallation is the best solution as you can never say if traces of the ransomware have remained even though you have purged the hard drive.

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