Information Security: Defending against Ransomware

Big ransomware attacks have been making headlines in all major media outlets in the past few years as it swept across the globe compromising computers with outdated software, mainly Windows computers.

These notorious ransomware variants were Wannacry, Teslacrypt, SimpleLocker, NotPetya, SamSam, CryptoLocker, Ryuk just to name some were primarily designed to attack unsecured computers in the hopes of extorting money from unsuspecting victims, especially those who exercises unsafe online practices.

And as security apps like Avast, Avira and other Internet security software were able to detect and block these threats, they are evolving fast and getting more and more sophisticated.

Just recently, a new ransomware has been found in the wild that is currently undetected by antivirus engines on public scanning platforms. Its name is NextCry due to the extension appended to encrypted files and that it targets clients of the NextCloud file sync and share service. You can read about that update here.

Hence, to effectively combat these threats, we all play a part when it comes to IT security either in our homes or in our workplace. Always stay protected by simply taking some of these basic security exercises.

Detect & Protect

Watch out for these common email phishing scams:

  1. Forceful / faked urgency to get you to respond before you think.
  2. Offer a prize or reward to tempt you to click on a link.
  3. Use “masked” links that look like a trusted website address but take you somewhere else when you click on it.
  4. Ask you to provide your password or other confidential data for security purposes.
  5. Website addresses that are similar to, but not the same as the real thing; make sure to inspect the URL if you’re not sure. For example google.com could look like g00gle.com.
  6. Poor spelling and/or unusual grammar.

Similarly, your password is your first line of defense against hackers. Make sure it gets the attention it deserves. Change your password frequently and set it to at least 12 characters long, with a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters. We’ve discussed about his here.

And last but not the least, keep your computer healthy and install the latest system and security updates. Always keep your devices up-to-date. Install firmware updates if they are supported. You can read more about that here.

Stay safe and secure!

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