A Brief Guide on How to Identify a Ransomware Attack on Your Device

Since the use of technology has become more common than ever, ransomware attacks are also on the rise and are getting more dangerous over the recent years. A ransomware attack on corporate networks can cost businesses thousands and even millions of dollars.

Ransomware usually spreads through spam, phishing emails, etc. once the attacks have been successful, it locks all files it can access using strong encryption. The malware then demands a ransom pay (usually in Bitcoin) to restore the files.

Since the global pandemic Covid-19, more people have been working remotely. Since individuals usually do not have a proper protection system for their devices outside the company. It makes their devices more vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals.

Here is how you can defeat ransomware when you have been attacked.

Separate the Malware

When you first receive the warning on your device on ransomware, first isolate the infection. It is critical to combat and get hold of the virus before it spreads across networks and encrypts vital data. Isolate your infected device from other computers and storage devices.

Hackers usually seek out connections, and other computers, so make sure to disconnect from any external devices as well. The ransomware may have entered your system through multiple devices, so apply safety measures to evaluate if other devices are infected or not.

Identify the Source

Most ransomware attacks tend to identify themselves when they ask for a ransom. Perhaps you can use help from different websites or applications to help you determine whether a certain cyberattack is ransomware.

After identifying ransomware, you can understand what kind of attack and what types of files it encrypts. This way, you can report a ransomware attack to the concerned authorities or a private company. It opens up options for you to choose for disinfection.

Report the Attacks

Regardless of the outcome, it is best to report all attacks to the authorities. It can help the FBI understand who is behind the attacks and how they target the victims. Other ways you can benefit from reporting the attacks to include.

  • Reporting provides law enforcement with an understanding of the threat.
  • It further provides proof for ransomware investigation.
  • It contributes relevant information to ongoing cases.

What Options You Can Choose From

When your device has been affected by ransomware, you can choose from the following options.

  • Pay the ransom amount.
  • Try to remove the infection from your system.
  • Wipe away your data and reinstall the system.

Pay the Ransom

It can be a bad idea to pay the ransom. Such an act motivates cybercriminals to indulge in such illegal activities. Furthermore, even after paying up the sum, many people still don’t get access to the files. There are very few chances to get back your data even if you pay.

Remove the Malware

Competitive cybersecurity companies and online services are available that claim to remove the ransomware and restore your files. Getting rid of infection also depends upon what kind of ransomware has attacked your system. If you are fortunate, then a decryptor for your condition may already be available. Otherwise, it will take time to develop a decryptor.

Wipe Clean Your System

One of the best ways to remove ransomware is to completely wipe away all storage devices and reinstall from scratch again. When you format the hard disk on your system, it ensures no sign of malware remaining.

You will not have to worry about recovering your data if you follow a backup strategy and copy all the files from time to time. After reinstalling, make sure to choose backup copies before the malware so that your system does not end up getting infected again.