According to a survey, 304.7 million such attacks were registered worldwide in the first six months of 2021, exceeding the 304.6 million by 2020 alone. According to a study by SonicWall, growth is 917 percent in government, 615 percent in education and 514 percent in health. The problem is affecting the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Brazil. Trends show the second half of the year could be worse, with by far the most attacks recorded in June, at 78.4 million. However, these are successful attacks; there is much more to try than that.
There are also geopolitical and cyber security technical reasons behind this, but there are three relatively simple drivers of this attack level. One is that it is straightforward to carry out such an attack today.
Suppose someone has a little money set aside. In that case, they don’t even have to improve, look around a few underworld forums, and you’re guaranteed to find software for sale that can now be learned through even YouTube videos as if it were something completely mundane. We can even rent complex systems, and then the virus developer gets a share of the “evenue.”Of course, in this case, both parties are banned and act illegally. However, only novice users tend to fail, and distributors are much more careful than that.
The second is that due to the coronavirus epidemic, many companies have had to crack the previously well-established IT security system, as most of the workers have been forced into home offices due to the closures. Here, most people log in with their own devices using their network; no one monitors precisely what they are doing.
Although many companies use well-trained hardware, VPNs, and other security solutions to prevent this problem, this is not always possible. This makes it easier for employees to collect viruses, which at best block only the data on their machine and, at worst, crawl into the corporate network to rumble on the central device or the workstations of others.
While much of the traditional telephone and internet scam to this day works through a variety of untraceable gift cards, huge sums cannot be moved around this method. However, when millions of dollars are at stake in a corporate system, the attackers are not demanding a ransom of $ 200-300. Bank transfers are ruled out, as financial institutions would not support this, and no criminal would go into personal transfers, as the authorities would strike him immediately. However, behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, a virtually untraceable, anonymous system can handle international transfers with lightning speed and untraceability.
To Pay Or Not To Pay?
If a blackmail virus working with serious encryption takes control of our system, we have no choice but to cough up the ransom. Here, however, we face an essential dilemma. While fulfilling the demands may allow us to recover our data, we may also fail to do so, as there is no guarantee that criminals will be willing or able to restore the system at all.
Of course, the roughest money is not paid out by single users but by giants. In recent years, Garmin, Intel, Acer and Gigabyte have also been attacked. While tech companies tend to make sure most of the data is recoverable, they are not so careful elsewhere: a travel agency spent $ 1.3 billion.
The insurer paid 12 billion in 2021 for hackers to recover the data. But the amount is astronomical even if the attackers are not demanding it: according to the State of Ransomware 2021 report in 5 countries, 5,400 companies paid an average ransom of 51 million forints, but the total damage is more than ten times that 550 million was HUF, which appeared mainly in lost data.
Help, They’re Infected!
If you click in the wrong place out of carelessness or carelessness, trouble can happen right away. Did you open the attached .exe file, and not only did you not win a million but a minute later, encrypted data stacks replaced your files, and your Windows background changed from a family photo to a scary red prompt? TThere’slittle chance you’ll get away with it, but don’t lose hope right away!
First of all, visit the website nomoreransom.org, which is also available in Hungarian, where you will not only find a lot of helpful information and prevention advice, but you can also report crimes and even find a solution to your problem. Although not all extortion viruses have antidotes, there are decades of decoding tools for common pests. Hopefully, you’re stuck in a web of a virus that antivirus companies already have a master key to, and you can quickly get rid of it.
Of course, you may not have such a master key, key generator, or another suitable disarming program, in which case you will need to remove the malware as a first step. Otherwise, you may have to lock your data again. This should be done in safe mode with a portable, non-installable killer running from an external USB key.
If you do, and you have recorded the malware’s name, then start it in normal mode and perform a second round of scanning with the now more complex net antivirus. If you had a backup, you only have to wait a few minutes for the system to restore it. If it wasn’t, then it’s time to take a few minutes to complete it while writing down your loss list.
You can prevent this trouble by making an offline backup, such as an external HDD that is physically separate from the machine. Save your irreplaceable personal data, photos, videos here first, and then everything else can come, even a complete system backup.
Otherwise, you may want to keep a copy of the data on a NAS or if you have enough cloud space. Offsite backups protect against viruses and other disasters. A thorough update may come if your information is safe. You may want to update your system first, then your programs. With a few exceptions, you should run Windows updates as often as possible, and feel free to get free help for many programs like SUMo, PSI, or Patch My PC Updater.