Since ransomware is becoming an increasingly-growing menace, we have decided to create frequently asked questions that will help you understand better ransomware viruses and better know how to protect yourself from such. Not only you will learn more information about ransom viruses, but you will also learn what options you have to counter-react once your computer has been infected with ransomware. Let’s begin.
Q1: What Is Ransomware?
A: Ransomware is an ever-growing malware threat which may infect your computer after which encrypt your files with an encryption algorithm – a cipher that replaces the original structure of the files with it’s custom symbols to render them no longer openable. Most ransomware viruses leave a ransom note that ask users to pay a hefty fee to get their files back, usually by using BitCoin, the biggest online cryptocurrency. An example of a ransom note is the picture below, set as a wallpaper by Cerber ransomware:
Q2: How much money do I have to pay once I am infected?
A: There are many different ransomware viruses out there, and once they have infected your computer it is completely dependent on the cyber-criminals what will be the payoff amount. While some hackers just joke and restore the files for free, other want small payments in the amounts of 5 to 50 US dollars. The most notorious viruses usually demand sum approximate to 500 US dollars, but there are even greedier ransomware viruses, that demand thousands of dollars in BitCoin. Such greedy crypto-viruses usually attack institutions like hospitals and are not very widespread. The most likely change if you get hit is that you will be requested sum off approximately 100 to 500 US dollars.
Q3: How to Get Rid of a Ransomware Virus
A: Ransomware type of malware is just like any other cyber-threat out there – it enters your computer usually via fake e-mail attachment and infects you via an updated and very expensive exploit kit. Then the virus downloads malicious files in typical Windows folders like other malware does, depending on where it is pre-programmed to drop the payload:
The files may have different names, but they usually resemble legitimate processes of Windows. In addition to dropping files, ransomware viruses also manage to create various objects in the Windows registry entries for different purposes:
- To make the ransom notes run on startup.
- To change the wallpaper.
- To set the file (module) responsible for encrypting data to run on Windows boot.
There are different removal methods for different ransomware viruses, but so far ransomware has been spotted to massively infect primarily on two operating systems amongst all (because there are ransom viruses for other OS’s as well):
We have prepared the following tutorials below to help you learn how to remove ransomware from both your PC and your Android device:
Instructions for computers: