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Ransomware


 

What is ransomware?


Ransomware refers to a type of malicious software that encrypts files on a victim's computer or network, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attacker.

It’s a term that has gained importance in making a website and is relevant for website owners who want to secure their websites from cyber attacks.


Ransomware has been around since the late 1980s. The first known ransomware attack was performed by the AIDS Trojan in 1989. This Trojan virus targeted users by displaying a message that their license to use certain software had expired and they needed to send $189 to a certain address to renew it.


Over time, ransomware attacks have become more sophisticated and destructive. The first ransomware attacks were carried out via email attachments or links to malicious websites, but now they can be spread through social media, messaging apps, and compromised websites.



What does ransomware look like?


To be considered ransomware a cyber attack must include:


Encryption


Ransomware encrypts files on the victim’s computer so they cannot be accessed until a ransom is paid.


Ransom demand


Attackers demand a ransom payment from the victim in exchange for the decryption key.


Payment method


Ransoms are usually demanded in cryptocurrency because it's more difficult to trace.



Examples of ransomware


Some real-life examples of ransomware attacks include:


This ransomware attack affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries in 2017.


This attack spread through an Ukrainian accounting software and caused damage to companies worldwide in 2017.


 

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3 best practices for preventing ransomware attacks


Some best practices for avoiding these types of attacks are:


01. Regularly backing up data to an offsite location helps to ensure that data can be recovered without paying the ransom.


02. Educating staff on how to identify and avoid phishing emails can help prevent ransomware attacks.


03. Antivirus software can detect and prevent ransomware from infecting your computer.


If you make your website with Wix, you’re already guaranteed robust web infrastructure and security that protects your site from ransomware and other attacks 24/7.



Challenges of handling ransomware attacks


  • Paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will get the decryption key to your files back.

  • Ransomware can be difficult to detect and prevent long term as attackers are constantly finding new ways to spread it.



Ransomware FAQ

How does ransomware spread?

Ransomware can spread through email attachments or links to malicious websites, social media, messaging apps, and compromised websites.

Should I pay the ransom if I'm a victim of ransomware?




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