Bitcoin Ransomware Plagues Landscape
Noone likes a shakedown. Rather, noone wants to be the target of a shakedown. However, where there’s a will theres a way. As the nature of crime evolves with the times, criminals are adopting Bitcoin as a payment receipt mechanism. Malware trojanhorse type programs such as CryptoLock and CryptoWall are some of the names behind these malevolent software used by criminals with ill-intent.
This week in May 2017 there is yet another Malware (“WannaCry”) Ransomware breaching the mainframes of the various mega institutions that be. This highlights the potentials for mis-use with cryptocurrencies. Many inventions have the potential for negative uses. Cryptocoins have quickly been adopted for such because they are outside the traditional banking system.
Programs such as CryptoLocker rely on social engineering techniques to trick the target into unwittingly running it. The victim receives an email with a password-protected ZIP file purporting to be from a anything else except the true nature of it, a virus/malware hi-jacking program. One week it’s CryptoLocker the next it’s another one. The latest malware on the rampage was reverse engineered from a stolen NSA program.
How to avoid Ransomware
Malware spreads through mediums such as email. Our recommendations are as follows:
- Disregard emails from senders you don’t know. Don’t ever download files from unsolicited senders. Best yet to not download any attached files you receive from an email.
- Disabling hidden file extensions in Windows will also help recognize this type of attack.
- Having a backup system in place for your critical files. This will help mitigate the damage caused not only by malware infections, but hardware problems or any other incidents as well.
- If you become infected and don’t have a backup copy of your files, our recommendation is not to pay the ransom. That’s NEVER a good solution, as it turns the malware into a highly profitable business model and will contribute to the flourishing of this type of attack.
- Get the latest updates for programs you’re using such as operating system and programs you utilize. Running outdated software makes you more susceptible to malware programs that break through older software versions rather than the latest one.