Category : Blog
Combating Ransomware Attack – Europol takes initiative to fight back
Ransomware has been something that has been bothering and affecting individuals and companies very badly for quite some time now. It’s a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid as deemed by the cyber criminal. Although directed mainly at individuals it’s not too long before it can affect big companies and organizations. But, now with the Dutch National Law Enforcement agency Europol joining hands with top cyber security companies things could be expected to be a lot better in terms of our fight against ransomware. This is no doubt a great news for computer and internet users all over the world as the estimated number of ransomware victims tripled in the first quarter of this year alone. Dutch National law enforcement agency Europol, which has joined forces with police and cyber security companies announced the initiative dubbed as No More Ransom and backed by technology hotshot Intel, cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab and the Netherlands Police would be aiming at reducing an ever-increasing rise in Ransomware threat. The main objectives of this initiative would be to disperse the awareness regarding the Ransomware threat, how to help people from being falling prey to it and how to recover from such attacks without paying the ransom (money) to cyber criminals on the event of such attack. Furthermore, with the No More Ransom online portal you get the opportunity of downloading tools that are potentially capable of assisting in decrypting computers affected by ransomware attacks. At the beginning, there are four decrypting tools for ransomware available in the website NoMoreRansom.org. The website also initially has 1, 60000 decrypting keys to start with. There is also a place in the portal where people can upload more ransomware malware samples along with a description to identify the type of threat affecting a system. Not only has the number of Ransomware attacks increased drastically, the sophistication of these attacks too has reached to a different level with time.
Universities, hospitals and even government agencies- none has been able to get away from the dreaded shades of ransomware attacks. Malware is something that would probably be an ever-lasting issue and a battle against it would always be a mounting one but it is worth a go to challenge it head on making a co-ordinated effort.
Jornt Van der Wiel from the Kasper Sky explains another reason behind the ‘exponential’ rise of ransomware attacks in the recent past. While the cyber criminals are demanding for money the computer user is straightaway paying the ransom to him for getting the instant access to his personal data without even trying or resorting to any other method of retrieving it. This is motivating the cyber criminals further to carry out such malicious activities.
So, what’s the way out or the preventive measures you can take against ransomware attacks personally?
- Keep a regular backup of your important data.
- Use up-to date software’s besides using a good and reliable Anti-Virus software.
- Patch early and regularly.
- Don’t remain logged in as an administrator unnecessarily i.e. for more time than you genuinely require and while staying logged on don’t do regular stuffs like browsing and other “regular works” as much as practicable. Ideally, don’t do any other work at all while you are logged in as an admin.
- Don’t enable macros in document attachments received through e-mail.
- Always be circumspect regarding unsolicited e-mails.
Though it goes without saying that the fight against ransomware won’t be an easy one even now by any stretch of imagination and it will be a prolong process but the ball for making a strong statement through a well planned endeavour to the cyber criminals who effect it has certainly been set rolling.