Everything about Ransomware – Definition, Types, and Prevention

While the term "ethical hacker" may sound contradictory, there is a high need for skilled computer users who can assist businesses in identifying security holes, fortifying their networks, and preventing ransomware assaults. When ransomware attacks a computer, it encrypts the user's files so that the user can no longer access them without paying a ransom. The perpetrator then refuses to unlock the doors unless a ransom is paid. If they don't get paid, attackers often threaten to leak the information to the public after stealing a copy of it in advance.

Network Security Breaches

Hackers are still finding ways to get through firewalls despite efforts to educate staff not to click on external sites and investments in cyber security. According to PBS Newshour, ransomware assaults were increased by 168% in North America and 62% globally between 2019 and 2020. An increase of over 20% from 2019 to 2020 was seen in the number of ransomware reports received by the FBI in 2020, which totaled nearly 2,505. Approximately $29.1 million was lost due to ransomware attacks, which significantly increased from the $8.9 million lost the year before.

Recent attacks analytics

The impact of ransomware assaults is greater. Around 800 firms worldwide had their data exposed by the ransomware attack on U.S. IT firm Kaseya this past summer. The hackers asked for a Bitcoin payment of $70 million to get access to the stolen information.

The White House announced the formation of a task force to address escalating domestic and foreign cyber threats in response to the increasing frequency and severity of ransomware attacks.

How to strengthen Enterprise Security?

Threats such as ransomware and hacking require organizations and governments of all sizes to take precautions in order to safeguard their data and information technology infrastructure. Encrypting your data and creating backups are both recommendations made by Penta Security. If the primary database is corrupted or rendered inaccessible, a data backup consists of a copy of the database that is kept on a different network. On the other hand, only some businesses can afford to spend the time and money necessary to invest in data backup in order to replicate and store all of their essential information. It is possible to avoid extortion attempts caused by the revealing of private information by encrypting the data.

How does ransomware Work?

  • Intrusion-Ransomware is silently downloaded and installed.

  • During its execution, ransomware searches for the specified file types in a variety of storage places, both locally and on the network (both mapped and unmapped). Files and folders used as backups can be deleted or encrypted during some ransomware attacks.

  • Files found during the Execution phase are encrypted using the encryption key obtained from the Command and Control Server during a key exchange performed by the ransomware during the Encryption phase. Data security is also ensured. See Figure 2 for clarification.

  • Notification to the User: Ransomware will insert files with instructions on how to pay for decryption and then utilize those files to show the user a ransom note.

  • Remediation Generally, ransomware will exit and remove itself, leaving behind the files with the payment instructions.

  • The victim pays the ransom by following the instructions provided, which include a link that, when clicked, directs the victim to a website with more details about the transaction. To prevent detection by network traffic monitoring, these messages are commonly encapsulated and obfuscated using hidden TOR services.

  • Once the victim has paid the ransom, typically to the attacker's Bitcoin address, they may be given the decryption key. Nonetheless, I cannot promise that you will receive the decryption key when you need it.

Types of Ransomware

1. Negative Rabbit

Businesses in Russia and Eastern Europe have fallen victim to a particularly malicious strain of ransomware. Infected websites typically display a false update for Adobe Flash, which Bad Rabbit uses to spread itself. Ransomware infects a computer and then sends the user to a payment website that requests.05 bitcoin.

2. Cerber

Cerber has launched a sophisticated phishing attack against Microsoft 365 customers in the cloud, impacting millions of people. The prevalence of viruses like this highlights the expanding value of cloud-based as well as on-premises data backup.

3. Crysis

Crysis ransomware uses a robust encryption method that is difficult to crack in a reasonable length of time to encrypt files on fixed, removable and network drives. Common methods of transmission include emails with double-file extension attachments that fool the recipient into thinking the file is not executable. It's not limited to email; it may even pretend to be an official software installation.

4. CTB-Locker

The hackers behind CTB-Locker use a novel method to spread their software. These cybercriminals model their business after the Girl Scout cookie and Mary Kay cosmetics empires by sharing the infecting process with partners for a portion of the earnings. This tactic has been shown to infect huge numbers of computers with malware quickly and efficiently.

5. GoldenEye

The widespread Petya ransomware is comparable to GoldenEye. In a broad campaign, hackers transmitted the GoldenEye ransomware to HR departments. Downloading the file activates a macro that locks down the user's data. GoldenEye appends an arbitrary 8-character extension at the end of each encrypted file. The malware then installs a new boot loader into the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the infected user's hard drive.


To safeguard against ransomware, it is common to practice implementing backup systems, testing them, and then use security software that includes ransomware protection. The first line of defense is security tools like email protection gateways, and the second line of defense is endpoints.



Because of ransomware, extortion has reached a worldwide scale, and it is up to us—users, business owners, and decision-makers—to put a stop to it. Storing Bitcoin is a backup plan in case other ransomware protections fail. More often than not, this occurs when the firm's clients or users are in immediate danger. Because of the potential dangers to patients and guests, ransomware poses a unique threat to the healthcare and hospitality industries.

Updated on: 26-Dec-2022


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