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Ransomware as the name suggest is a kind of malicious software that first find a way to get inside your device and then replicates itself to other devices by making your device as a host victim which ultimately results in asking victim users for ransom (money) in exchange of unlocking their files , it literally locks down all your files and important data. Even if you pay ransom there is no guarantee that the data locked will not be used by other hackers or crackers.We discussed about it in our earlier post.

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The WannaCry ransomware has caused a scare across the world within a few days of being discovered. The biggest ransomware attack yet, WannaCry was temporarily stopped in its tracks by a British researcher by registering an obscure web address, even as it infected 200,000 computers worldwide.Windows operating system was the first to hit hard, as the virus exploited the lack in security patches inside windows XP (which Microsoft stopped releasing updates from 2014).The WannaCry hackers have demanded payments of $200 to $600 (roughly Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 38,000) in bitcoins from organisations as well as individual users whose computers had been infected, or else the data would be wiped.

But i use Macintosh , I need not to worry right?  The answer is Big “NO”

Even Apple’s MacBook popularly known as Macintosh is under threat as new ransomeware virus had found a way to exploit it security also. Yes ransomeware can Affect Macs too, A report from security firm Palo Alto Networks has the paranoid corners of the internet freaking out : the first fully-functional ransomware has been found screwing up people’s Macs.But the Mac user need to worry that much because the attacking vector is limited to user opening a rarely infected pdf or any other file.

Things to take care in Macs to prevent ransomeware:

  1. Macintosh updates: ever since the virus had hit Microsoft all the other device makers have taken being seriously working on their devices and now rolling out many updates for the same. So its better to make your devices up to date with latest software.
  2. Avoid Shady torrenting clients: Torrenting is something which is obvious today , but don’t let your desires get your device being locked up. Many tor users have reported that after using non legit clients their device acted in some undesired way. Take precautions now or pay later.
  3. Delete untrusted emails : Untrusted emails means those mails whose sender is not know by the user. We often come across those spamming emails that lockdown our email space. We advice to Delete them immediately, because who knows it might contain phishing link or any other malware also.
  4. Backup is must : Backing up your important files and data is must nowadays.So don’t forget to take periodic backup of your files on some external source or devices like hard drives ,pen drives etc.
  5. Help from antivirus: There are many kinds of antivirus out on the internet some are free and some are paid. Best bet would be spend some plenty of cash on those antivirus software rather than to pay big amounts to hackers.
  6. Keeping your device offline: Having all the data on one device thats always offline is a wonderful idea to humiliate hackers. As you are not connected to the intranet no-one has the power to exploit your data unless you allow them to.

Above simple and basic tips are a must to follow for safe and sound working of your devices and avoiding unnecessary paying of money on ransomeware.

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Ransomeware in action inside Macintosh Operating System 

Note: The above Macintosh tips can also be followed in Windows also as the rules apply on all the Operating systems.Now comes our Windows Users. 

For Windows we have some different set of rules take a look at those :

  1. Never run untrusted file types : If you don’t trust the files that are inside your device then always remember to cut the suspense and move that file to trash bin. As these files must have been transferred by emails or any other source. There is always a risk that those files might contain worms,trojan virus and malware.
  2. Auto update : Windows have a feature called Auto update windows which is most important. Always make sure its turned on as you don’t want your system to miss out crucial security updates. Here is how you can turn auto update on :

On Windows 7 –

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update.
  2. On the left-hand side, choose Change settings.
  3. Under Important updates, make sure it says Install updates automatically (recommended).
  4. Check all the other boxes on the page, and then click OK.

On Windows 8.1 –

  1. Hit Win key + X, and click Control Panel.
  2. Head to System and Security > Windows Update.
  3. On the left-hand side, choose Change settings.
  4. Under Important updates, make sure it says Install updates automatically (recommended).
  5. Check all the other boxes on the page, and then click OK.

On Windows 10 –

  1. Hit Start key, and click on the Settings gear icon.
  2. Head to Update & security, and then click Windows Update on the left.
  3. On the right, choose Advanced options.
  4. Under Choose when updates are installed, make sure it says Current Branch, and that both the values for feature and quality update are set to 0.
  5. Check the first two boxes, and close the window.

3. Always keep you antivirus On: Most of the users use illegal softwares and cracks in their devices ,they think they are doing smart work as they have skipped paying for licensed software. But they are not aware of the risk they are taking as for using cracks we need to turn virus protection to OFF which is dangerous and risky. So don’t fall for those tricks to use unlicensed softwares. You never what’s going on the background.

4. Avoid using pirated OS: Many users use pirated windows in their PCs, which prevents them to update the windows and thus ransomeware and other malware find their way inside their system and further you know very well what will happen and If you don’t wish to pay, consider moving to a Linux distro or any other free open source OS.

PRO TIP: Buy windows licensed versions only never try  to be over smart , nothing is for free.

5. Install Microsoft Emergency Patches : Download Microsoft’s latest patches from the official site here.

That’s all for today ! Have a Great day !

 

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have not read to keep an offline machine before – but it is something I already do. With HDD being so cheap, Most of my images and documents get copied to a external HDD and saved offline on an old tower which has linux installed. I even sometimes put things on dvd roms. my Windows 98 got hacked so many times I got into the habit of backing things up. Nothings fool proof though, my friends house was hit by lightning, that blew up his offline machine as it was plugged in.

    • Felt sad for your friend and Yes its really nice that your main backup is always offline !
      As of now i have had all of my main data and important files stored in some other computer which i always kept offline ! Even i update the softwares inside it manually through pen drive only if my antivirus approves it ! All the people should start doing this as fast as possible to tackle this so called ransomeware. Thanks for sharing and commenting !

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