Ransomware is malicious software that prevents or restricts a user from accessing a computer system by freezing the computer’s screen or encrypting the computer files unless a ransom is paid. Crypto-ransomware, one of the most common ransomware in recent years, encrypts computer files on infected systems and even the files stored on external storage devices or on the same network. Users are then demanded to pay a ransom in hope of obtaining a decryption key. Crypto-ransomware can infect computers via emails, websites or malicious online advertisements.
Screenshots of a computer with ‘WannaCry’ ransomware infection:
Computer users should always be vigilant when using computers. In addition to the installation of anti-virus software and firewalls, users should also develop the following good habits:
- Use genuine software;
- Backup important data regularly and store in an independent and offline storage media;
- Update the security patches of the operating system and anti-virus software regularly;
- Conduct a regular anti-virus scan to detect malware attacks;
- Disable or restrict unnecessary services and functions in computer systems;
- Refrain from visiting suspicious websites or downloading any files from suspicious websites;
- Do not open suspicious emails, attachments or hyperlinks; and
- DO NOT PAY any ransom and seek Police assistance if necessary.