Even though ransomware has declined recently, it remains a severe threat. This article explains file-encrypting malware and how Windows 10 works.
The term ransomware refers to malicious software designed to encrypt files on a device and render them unusable. In exchange for decryption, malicious actors demand a ransom. They threaten that if the ransom isn’t paid, they will sell or leak exfiltrated data. The incidence of ransomware incidents has increased across the nation’s federal agencies, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments (SLTT), and critical infrastructure companies in recent years.
The ransomware tactics of malicious actors are constantly evolving. Ransomware attacks remain a concern for our team, and we stay aware of the specific techniques, strategies, and procedures involved.
A recent study by Malwarebytes has found that the number of ransomware cyber attacks in Australia has tripled in the last 12 months. This increase is due to the use of a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, which was first discovered in 2017.
Cyber Attacks are increasing in United States too. The rise of the internet has led to the development of new ways to steal information. cyber attacks have become a pervasive issue over the last decade. In 2016, cyber attacks cost the US economy $400 billion. The U.S. has been the target of three major cyber attacks in the past year. WannaCry, NotPetya and Eternal Blue.
What is Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware attacks have been one of the top headlines in the news these days. You read about it on the internet or hear it on television almost once a week, if not daily. It’s become a common term by now. But what is Ransomware?
Ransomware can be thought of as malicious software designed to extort your data and demand ransom/ payment for its release. Users are denied access to the computer either by encrypting the crucial files or displaying messages that force the users to pay the attacker to regain access to the system.
Phishing Attacks have been occurring more and more frequently. The Phishing Campaigns are becoming more and more advanced, making it hard for people to identify them. Although people are becoming more aware of the dangers of Phishing Attacks, these attacks are on the rise and getting more sophisticated every day. Phishing attacks continue to increase, both in volume and sophistication.
Cybercriminals generate a lot of money from ransomware attacks and phishing attacks, which are constantly evolving. Hence, we hear about the malware software that we hear about the most. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, so here’s what you need to know about them, their potential targets, and how you can protect yourself and your system with Windows ten’s ransomware protection!
At-risk ransomware targets
With the increase in skills and intelligence of hackers and crackers, cybercrime has been increasing rapidly. And with this increasing rate, cybercrime is predicted to cost the world 6 trillion dollars annually by 2021. The most apparent prey to these predators is hospitals, government organizations, businesses, banks, and even energy and utilities.
These malicious actors tend to use plenty of cryptographic algorithms and hacks to extort money from their targets. However, ordinary people are not usually considered intriguing targets. But you never know! Prevention is always better than finding a cure, and therefore you must keep yourself apart from these attacks as best as you can. Who is at risk? All computers and networks connected to the internet and have essential data stored on them, including government and law enforcement agencies and healthcare facilities, and other critical infrastructure, are at risk.
How can you protect your system from Ransomware attacks?
No matter how unlikely it may be that you’ll be targeted, protecting yourself is your responsibility. What is the best way to accomplish that?
Storing a backup online or offline, replicating the confidential files, avoid downloading suspicious files or opening spammy emails, or clicking on fishy links are some apparent methods you can adopt to protect yourself from ransomware attacks. But do you think that’d be enough, or it’s wise to do so? Having a backup is indeed a key to not paying the ransom, and the key to protecting those backups is to put as many barriers as you can between the production system and the backup system.
If these steps seem impractical or not helpful in any way, you have another option! Yes, you read that right! It’s nothing else but a windows ten in-built ransomware protection feature available to any user with an up-to-date version of the OS. Let’s jump into learning it in a bit more detail in the latter part!
What is the window 10 Ransomware Protection feature?
Windows 10 Ransomware Protection is a windows security feature that helps users protect themselves against ransomware attacks. And in few cases, recover data post-attack. How does the protection feature work? It can be the next question that’ll pop in.
So as for how it works, Microsoft provides an option called ‘Controlled folder access, which lets you protect your files, folders, and memory areas on your device from unauthorized access.
You can either allow this controlled folder access to protect your files and folders or flip the toggle putting it in the ‘blocked state’. You will only have protection on key folders, such as pictures and documents if you choose the latter option. But you can, later on, add additional files or alter the defaults at your will.
If you would want to test whether the feature is working as intended or not, then you can use a few third-party apps to edit some of your files. As a result, you’ll get an error message along with a security event notification from Windows.
Another critical remark here is that if you trust any specific app, you can allow it to omit this protection by adding it as an allowed app. It can be done through security notification upon detecting a new app mentioned above or via the ransomware protection page. In either case, the permitted app will have all the access to your files. However, Microsoft warns to only grant access to apps you completely trust because you never know.
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