Ransomware is a type of malware (like a computer virus) that when installed into your computer will quietly encrypt all files it can locate both of your local drives and network drives. It looks for the most poplar types of files such as Microsoft Office docs, video files and image files to name a few.
Once the malware has encrypted all files it can locate it will present a warning box like above with a countdown timer. In order to be able to use your files again you need to pay the ransom sometimes up to 1000.00 Euro! If you do not pay the ransom then all your files that were encrypted are now useless.
What is very bad is that the encryption process cannot be undone by running a simple virus scan. Encryption is the process of making data unreadable by using extremely complex mathematical algorithms. To unlock the encrypted data you need a “key” and in regards to ransomware the hacker holds that key.
Make no mistake – ransomware encrypts your data with one of the most powerful encryption mechanisms and even the NSA would fine it time consuming to reverse the encryption.
How does ransomware get into your system?
Mostly by clicking on an attachment within an email or downloading infected files. Therefore as 100’s of security people have stated before… do not click any attachment within an email unless you know the person who sent it and more importantly you were expecting the attachment from that person.
For more information on basic security practices all businesses large and small should be applying read “6 Basic Must-Have Security Rules for Staff“