Paying 1,000 euros to get your own files back is not something you are looking forward to. Yet it can happen if you get a ransomware virus on your computer. But what is ransomware? How do you get it, and most importantly what can you do about it?

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a virus that hijacks your computer to blackmail you. The attacker locks your device making you unable to access your files and sometimes even your entire computer. To regain access to your documents, you have to pay a ransom. If you do not pay within the indicated time, all your infected files will be destroyed.

The most recent example of ransomware is Gandcrab which has now infected thousands of Dutch, German, Belgian, and British computers. Gandcrab demands a 1,000 euro ransom from the victim before they can use their computer again. It is unclear how many people are affected, but experts expect that the number of victims will only increase in the near future.

 

How does ransomware get on my computer?

Ransomware is distributed via email attachments, advertisements, unsafe links and is mainly found in downloads of illegal versions of programs that are usually paid.

The virus can spread through a file that looks like a photo or text file, but actually is an installation program. You can check the file type by looking at the end of the file name: for example, an installation file has the extension ‘.exe’ at the end. Also be careful with ‘.zip’ files: these can start an installation when you open them.

For example, a normal photo has the name ‘foto1.jpeg’, whereas an installation file that may contain ransomware has ‘foto1.exe’ as its name. This makes it seem like you are opening a photo but you are actually opening and installing a ransomware program/ ransomware.

Another way to end up with ransomware on your computer is through weak software programs that are already installed. Hackers search for weak spots in the software to place ransomware on your computer. Therefore, it is important to always have the latest version of your software.

 

What can I do against ransomware?

Of course, it is best to prevent getting ransomware. But how?

It is important to keep your software up-to-date and make external backups, for example on a USB stick or in the cloud. Furthermore, it is better to not open emails and attachments from senders that you don’t know or don’t trust.

In case ransomware does manage to encrypt your files you, what can you do? The cloud solution vBoxxCloud offers the Snapshot function, which allows you to restore your files. It restores older versions that are not infected with the virus, and you can get back to work after a few minutes at no extra cost! How does the snapshot function work?

  • In case you get a virus that locks or encrypts your documents, you are able to restore your files to a state in which they were at a specific moment in time. For example, 5 minutes before the ransomware attack started.
  • This would create a copy of your restored files or folders from that point in time with all the previously deleted, re-created and moved documents.
  • Revision history is also preserved, starting from the selected date.
  • For more information, click here.

Keep control over your files and store them securely in the cloud. With vBoxxCloud your files are protected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in secure data centers. Want to know more about vBoxxCloud? We are happy to help you in a personal demo, and you can always call us. Interested in protecting your files now? Start your free trial and get full control over what happens to your files!

 

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