How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware
Set up an automatic data backup with Langmeier Backup to avoid being blackmailed!
Encryption Trojans, such as Locky, Goldeneye, Spora, Rensenware, TorrentLocker, Lockerpin, Teslacrypt and the recent Jaff and WannaCry Trojans, are a particularly malicious form of malware that is playing an increasingly large role in cybercrime. The basic principle of this type of malware is quickly explained: The malware encrypts the files on a computer and at the same time irretrievably deletes the unencrypted originals.In order to be able to recover the encrypted data, a key is required that only the attackers know.
The blackmailers make themselves pay dearly for this.
Those who do not want to resign themselves to the loss of their data will have to acquiesce to the criminals' demand. Even the FBI can't think of a better solution, which is why the American federal police are giving affected people the dubious advice to pay the demanded ransom if the worst comes to the worst. At least if the damage caused by the loss of data would be significantly higher. One variant of such Trojans („Cryptowall“) alone caused $18 million in damage to the US in one year, according to FBI estimates. But whether it actually helps to give in to the extortionists' demands is anything but clear. By no means in all cases are they willing or able to actually restore the encrypted files after payment has been made. More convincing, on the other hand, are the recommendations given, for example, by the Lower Saxony police in their „Internet Crime Guide“.
What is a Trojan? What is Ransomware?
A Trojan, as the name suggests, is malware that hides behind an application or file. When downloaded or by opening infected websites or email attachments, the transfer of this malware is started and it installs itself, without the user's knowledge, into the computer system.
The attacks with a Trojan are not new and usually occur massively where there are security holes, for example when updates are not made regularly. So the first measure should always be to install updates and patches and, if necessary, appropriate malware protection.
It is also important to carefully verify the origin of links and email attachments and not to open files and links without thinking, even if they seem trustworthy. For example, the Locky virus hides in email attachments that pretend to send invoices. Since it is quite common to send invoices by email these days, they are often opened. Pay attention to the extension. And under no circumstances open double endings such as „pdf.exe“.
Often the Federal Criminal Police Office or the German Federal Post Office is given as the sender of emails, which do not arouse suspicion in the recipient, and even arouse curiosity to open the attachment. Spreading in social networks is also not uncommon, as these messages with the links to the infected pages are often automatically distributed among friends and the recipient, for example, does not distrust the Facebook contact and opens the link without being asked, only to be directed to manipulated websites. Most of the time, the sender does not even know that he has distributed this link, as many backdoor Trojans send themselves. Trojan protection is useless in these cases.
With this type of attack, Trojan viruses such as WannaCry, the Locky virus, and other ransomware (extortion software) can be distributed worldwide in seconds, leading to total data loss on infected computers.
Data backup offers the only protection!
For this purpose, we offer a reliable and convenient solution with Langmeier Backup. An automatic backup of all important data should be an integral part of every IT security concept anyway. Encryption Trojans are further proof that mirrored hard disks or other RAID systems significantly improve the reliability of servers, but are by no means a substitute for regular automated data backup. In this case, an encryption Trojan also encrypts the redundant data as well. Real security is only provided by a backup copy of the data stock on an external data medium that is safe from access by the Trojan.
Our professional backup program - the reliable solution
Missing backups are thus the most important reason why criminals are unfortunately often successful on the Internet with encryption Trojans. There is no lack of awareness of the problem. Even almost every private PC user today is aware that they should back up regularly.
Some, however, find this constant routine too time-consuming, while others only experience an unpleasant surprise when they have to restore data in an emergency. As long as only simple directories with files are involved, no major difficulties usually arise. However, at the latest with a system restore or when restoring active databases, it often becomes apparent that not every data backup program is up to the task. Either restoration of the data fails completely or it turns out that important data is missing because it was in use during the backup runs.
Langmeier Backup solves these problems
Automatic backup runs reliably in the background once it is set up. Even more complex active data structures such as those of a mail or database server are reliably backed up and can be restored effortlessly. But still, of course, the same applies here: A tested recovery is part of every professional data backup concept!
About the Author Alexander Vogt, Premium Support
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