That's "Ransomware", making your computer turn against you. Criminals are taking money from innocent victims through Ransomware.
So, what is this Ransomware?
Ransomware is computer malware that installs covertly on a victim's computer, executes a cryptovirology attack that adversely affects it, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt it or not publish it.Ransomware stops you from using your PC. It holds your PC or files for "ransom". Ransomware is a sophisticated malware that infects your computer, encrypts files and denies victim access to his/her files. some popular members of infections known as Ransomware include Cryptolocker, Cryptowall, TeslaCrypt, Reveton, CBT Locker, TorrentLocker, Locky etc.
Most common methods used by criminals to spread Ransomware
- Security exploits in vulnerable software or applications.
- Spam email that contain malicious links or attachments.
- Internet traffic redirects to malicious websites.
- Activating macros in malicious document.
- Legitimate websites that have malicious code injected in their web pages.
- Drive-by downloads.
- SMS messages (which apply to Ransomware that targets mobile devices).
To stay safe from ransomware
- Don’t store important data only on PC, have 2 backups of data: on an external hard drive and in the cloud like on Dropbox/Google Drive/etc. External Drive should always be completely disconnected from the main PC or network.
- Make sure Dropbox/Google Drive/OneDrive/etc. application on computer are not turned on by default. Only open them once a day, to sync data, and close them once done.
- Don’t use an administrator account on computer for daily use. Use an account with limited privileges.
- Install a reliable anti-virus product that automatically updates definitions and has real-time scanning.
- Make sure the operating system and the software or applications on your PC are up to date, including the latest security updates.
- Never click on links in Spam or suspicious emails and never download attachments from Spam or suspicious emails.
- Always Show hidden file-extensions. This makes it easier to spot suspicious files. One way that Cryptolocker frequently infects a computer is through opening a file that is named with the extension “.pdf.exe”.
- You should have macros turned off in the Microsoft Office suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc or other applications of a similar nature.
- Remove outdated plug-ins and add-ons from browsers. Only keep the ones that you use on a daily basis and keep them updated to the latest version.
Stay safe and don’t forget the best protection is always a backup!
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