Ransomware - This is a program…a program with a very particular set of skills. Skills it has acquired through years of evolution. Skills that make it a nightmare for computers like yours.
Please tell me at least ONE of you read that in the Liam Neeson voice from “Taken”? Much like his daughter in the movie, this is where your computer is held for ransom, although not removed from your physical possession. Your data is encrypted and you are demanded to pay the ransom before you can access your data again. In my mind, this is closely related to Scareware, but with a more sinister, destructive consequence. By encrypting, or locking up, your data your computer becomes useless until you can either remove the infection or pay the ransom. This may not seem a big deal if it just locks up your web surfing records…but imagine if this happened the day before payroll at your business! What if your customer records were unavailable? What if you couldn’t get to grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe? I think you get the picture!
What are the dangers of simply paying the ransom? The most obvious issue would be turning over your credit card information to a criminal organization. Identity theft would also be in there as a problem. Beyond that, the likelihood of the paying of the ransom ACTUALLY removing the malicious software is extremely low.
Tune in to the broadcast Wednesday (4/19) or listen to the archive as we discuss ways you can prevent this threat from taking advantage of you!
(FYI: This article is reprinted from my book, "Don't Throw IT, Get to Know IT (A Computer Guide for the Technically Challenged)" - Wiltz Cutrer)