Few days ago, I got a message on whatsapp from a friend " Massive Ransomware attack...... Total 74 countries affected... Please do not open any email which has attachments with "tasksche.exe" file. Please inform all your contacts from your list not to open a video called the " The dance of the hilary". It is a virus that formats your mobile. Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on BBCradio. Fwd this msg as many as you can!"
Initially I thought it was the usual whatsapp compelling message but as I went into research to filter the truth content, I discover that it was not only the truth, it was fact. It is no more news that ransomware has taken over cyber space looking for unsuspecting victims to attack.
It may surprise you to know that this virus is not a new one. It is only a modernised form of virus that has been. It all started 27 years ago as AIDS Trojan, which is an outdated form in our today world. Its mode of transmission was through floppy disk and involved sending money to a post office box to pay certain amount of money.
Ransomware as the name implies is a malicious virus programmed by cyber criminals to password all your data and ask for money to restore your Pc or you loose your files. That means you will be unable to access any file, only their demand will be displayed on your screen.
What are the features of ransomware
- One of the most powerful features of ransomware is its ability to password all your files including videos, pictures, audio files and alot more
- It has the ability to change all file extensions in your device to something different to confuse you
- It will display a message to let you know that your data has been encrypted ( passworded) and it will specify a certain amount of money to remove the password. This decryption has a time limit. If you don't meet with the time, your ransom would be increased. Any further delay will lead to complete deletion of all your data.
- Its method of payment is bitcoin. It is programmed in such a way that no cyber security expert can trace the route.
- It is highly viral, it can spread to other computers through LAN
- It has the ability to retrieve all your passwords, information geographical location.
The most popular type of ransomware is the encrypting ransomware, which incorporates advanced algorithms. It is designed to block all system files and ask for a ransom from the victim.
Tips to note
Do not open attachment from email messages you don't trust
Install a very powerful antivirus
Do not allow pop ups from websites you do not know or trust
Backup all your files incase you fall a victim
Be alert else you will miss what you have kept for years
Download files from reliable and trusted sites
Upgrade your mobile device
Do have a nice day!