Ransomware – A Virus That Blackmails You
What is ransomware and how to handle it
It is malicious software, generally, the Trojan horse program that blocks work of your PC and offers you renew the current situation by, for example, sending SMS on a laconic code or making a payment. The most interesting fact that sending this SMS or a payment will not entail any consequences, stated differently you just spend money and get zero result. Moreover, frequently SMS costs more than the indicated amount.
Ransomware can be different types. Some of them restrict inlet to websites or work with the browser. Some – encrypt user files. Some – block access to operating system resources or limit activity in it. These bugs hide usually among com, zip, bat, rar, exe files.
How to evade ransomware
1. Antivirus installation
Surely, it is obligatory to get the antivirus program with the recent updated databases. Protection against viruses can provide both commercial and free antiviruses. In any case only you understand seriousness of constant functioning and security of information on your machine. It is not a satisfactory solution to economize on protection.
2. Computer scanning
From necessary acts, which should be conducted by your antivirus program, you are expected to do compete computer scanning for the presence of viruses. You are supposed to decide on scanning frequency by yourself, but as a minimum once in every week this scanning must be done. Manufacturing companies of protection systems against malicious software also recommend checking files bluntly on their websites, it is so-called online scanners. If you are in two minds in relation to some files on your PC, you can scan them one more time separately. For example, Dr. Web offers own solution – Dr. Web LinkChecker. It is a kit of plugins for three browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer), after installation of which all opened pages, files, or downloads will be examined for the presence of destructive programs in advance, otherwise speaking before you open or download something.
3. Avoid some resources.
It does not worth to repeat that it is better to stand back from some resources. The talk is about websites offering fast earnings, free porno and so on. By the way, resources offering various cracks, hacking programs, keys and other similar software can be potentially perilous for your personal device. I might also add that any programs – whether it is a simple program for a photo gallery, IM-client or a standard kit of coder units – it is highly recommended to take them from official websites. At the very least the resource must be safe and inspected.
Large search engines (for example, Google, Yahoo, Search.msn etc) have already learnt how to recognize websites, visiting which the user is able to get a virus as a present, and anticipate about it. If you stickle about trustiness of the website (sometimes even official websites might be dangerous), you can always check it by yourself. By using different online scanners, you need to type a website page address and find out if the interested website contains harmful programs. Besides, one can set additional protection for checking attended websites as well. It is feasibly to build free or other plugins in the most well-known browsers: Opera, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox.
One should not open electronic messages or files that came from unknown people or follow the link got from strangers. More often they consist of ransomware and not only.
5. Passwords security
Your important passwords and logins are recommended to keep singly.
6. Attachable devices
All disks, flash drives, memory sticks and other portable carriers, which you link to the computer, you should right away check for presence of malicious software and only after that start working with it. In addition, autostart of portable devices should be preferably switched off too, because viruses can hide over there. To turn off the automatic start one can use Help of the operating system. In case if the program (that worked before) cannot be started, or one is not capable of opening files (with which one easily has worked recently), or linking to the Internet or in general it is complicated to work on the computer and when instead of all of that one window appears asking to send SMS or to make a payment, we are positive that you have acquainted with one type of ransomware. Needless to say that we do not advise you to send this SMS or a payment, you will not get any result. Definitely you have to and need to fight with this virus. For this reason it is preferably to have a kit of utilities for curing your machine of such viruses. If you are not confident whether you can do it by yourself or not, it is better to reach out a professional.
How to remove ransomware
What should you do, if the virus got into your PC? Firstly, do not run scared, since it is potentially to fight with it, even though ransomware programs evolve rapidly. Secondly, you just get yourself together and take needed actions.
To succeed in the struggle with ransomware, you have to specify which guest exactly attended you.
Viruses that block inlet to the Internet
If you cannot link to the Internet or visit most websites and there is a claim with the demand to send paid SMS or a payment, it is most likely that one of these viruses visited you: Trojan-Ransom.BAT.Agent.c or Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Digitala. This bat file changes Hosts file, that situated in the root directory of system residence disk or in the folder WindowsSystem32driversetc (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista). One needs to disclose this file with any text processing program and remove all lines, saving 127.0.0.1 localhost. It is not an issue to do it by oneself.
After that it is essential to begin full computer scanning by the antivirus program and then reboot the PC. The problem is expected to disappear. Regarding the group of viruses named Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Digitala, here we have a complex challenge: these hostile programs can put on a mask of legal software. They are more complicated and able to put themselves out of sight. Let’s say, that a hateful window hangs in front of you and it demands a ransom for restoring your machine to working condition. After thinking for a while, one can try to find out the activation code, which is asked to enter after sending SMS or making a payment. To accomplish this it is necessary to use another computer (in case of urgency from a mobile phone) to visit one of the producer antivirus software website and find the page with deactivation ransomware service.
Here one needs just to fill up several fields and afterwards the system will give the code that will help you to unblock computer work. In case if the given numerical code helped and the PC works properly again, one should not rest! It is likely that somewhere inside of the executive system there are traces of that harmful program. Those tracks might reveal themselves later with frequent soft errors or possible repeated blocking. Professional programmers recommend that users scan the operating system with the antivirus, that has updating databases, to omit such possibility.
If the activation code did not help, one may try to cure the machine with utilities that are specially designed to cure of such viruses as Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Digitala.
Before starting treatment, it is obligatory to close access to the Internet and reboot the PC in safe mode pressing F8 right away after starting and choosing the section “Loading in Safe Mode”. Having done all that actions, one starts a flash drive or a disk with the utility and realizes complete computer inspection. Alternatively, other types of carriers with alternative antivirus programs are also useful. At the end, just reboot the PC in usual mode. After all these measures ransomware must be deleted.
Viruses locking the browser
If you wander across the World Wide Web with any browser and, when attending a website, notice on the screen a post with an extremely immodest content, where a laconic number and a demand of ransom are written, it is clearly that Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Hexzone or Trojan-Ransom.Win32.BHO came to visit you. These do not block work of the whole computer, but just living in the browser.
They use add-ons mechanism of the browser helper object. It is impliable to settle an issue in hand-worked way employing the next scheme. Firstly, you open your browser, specifically, Internet Explorer, find the menu “Service” and then choose the section “Add-ons” (Management of add-ons) / “Turn on and turn off of add-ons”. By clicking the last section, you will see all add-ons set in the browser. Your task is to check all add-ons that do not have a record in the section “Publisher” or “Is not checked” is not written there. You should interchangeably shut them down, each time launching Internet Explorer eftsoons. The add-on, that was switched off which caused disappearance of the porno banner, is harmful and it must be turned off. Moreover, this type of ransomware can be deleted with the utility of different antivirus services.
Viruses disabling access to the executive system
If you cannot start any program on your PC, saving Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, and in front of you there is a window with demand of a ransom for restoring system work, it indicates that the virus intruded into your operating system blocking it, and one of them called – Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Krotten.
In order to rescue your PC from this kind of ransomware you can also ask for help from free unblocking service. After deblocking, do not forget to conduct the full scanning of the personal device with a licensed antivirus program that has the latest databases. In the event of an error, you are obligated to use special tools of any antivirus that are designed to emergency system recover.
It was noticed that some viruses do not provide access to resources of the operating system are deleted by themselves in two hours after intromission into the computer. To freedom from the virus in this situation you just need to put the clock in BIOS on few hours. After rebooting the window with the demand to send SMS or to make a payment will disappear and traces of the virus as well. However, the full computer antivirus scanning is highly recommended as a preventative measure.
Some viruses are special because they can encrypt data stored on your PC: Trojan-Ransom.Win32.GPCode, Trojan.Ramvicrype, Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Encore. Generally txt, xls, doc files are damaged. You can discover this damage by absence of inlet to information and a window on the desk top or a text document that enclosed in the catalogue with encrypted files.
Cryptographers are the worst ransomware. Different companies working on development of antivirus software offer their products such as utilities to fight with cryptoware. It is easy to exploit these programs, since they are designed for ordinary users.
After having done all steps for deleting cryptoware from the machine, you need to reboot it and conduct additional checking of the system. Only after these steps you can link to the network and start using your PC normally.
Ransomware - dangerous, but preventable!
With different types of ransomware cybercriminals blackmail users over few years. Nowadays these malicious programs evolved and became a serious problem. Even there are plenty of preventative steps and cure measures; it is still complicated to handle them. If any measure does not help to handle the situation, you have to contact professionals from technical support of your antivirus software producer.