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How to Respond to Ransomware

Ransomware is an increasingly common form of malware that targets public infrastructure and utilities. Because these entities have access to large sums of money, they are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Furthermore, these organizations often use outdated cybersecurity technology. As ransomware technology continues to advance, the technological gap between attackers and targets could increase. Healthcare is another sector targeted by ransomware.

The first cases of ransomware were reported in 2005 and 2006. Researchers at Trend Micro discovered a virus that zipped certain file types and overwrote the original files. Then, they created a text file that served as a ransom note. The ransom note would instruct the user to send a ransom to Panama in order to unlock the files.

Ransomware works by encrypting the user’s files, and is usually delivered in the form of phishing emails. Once the infected email is opened, the malicious attachment infects the user’s computer. When the user tries to open these files, the ransomware will display a message telling them that their files are encrypted and that they must pay a ransom in Bitcoin in order to unlock them.

The easiest way to respond to ransomware is to restore the system from a backup. To do this, you need to have an uninfected backup. Next, you need to install an antimalware solution, which will wipe out the infected system and all its files. Otherwise, ransomware will continue to lock the system and encrypt data.