What is a ransomware virus? What you need to know about ransomware attacks

By Shekhar Sahu on

14 May, 2017  at 3:34 AM

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I don't WannaCry.

Ransom as defined in the dictionary is a sum of money demanded or paid for the release of a captive. These days such ransom are only seen in the typical daily soaps aka Saas-Bahu serials.

Okey, since we have heard of the ransomware attacks in the news recently. We need to know what is this new form of ransom. A ransomware is a computer virus which encrypts the files on victims computer making them inaccessible until the sum of money is paid.

These attacks are typically carried out by a form of computer virus known as trojan horse or trojan for short. A trojan is legitimate file in disguise which the victim finds unsuspicious and downloads them. Attacker can use a trojan as backdoor to have unauthorized control of the victims computer. Trojan carries the payload which encrypts, manipulates or deletes the HDD contents or the master records.

Ransomwares are not new in the market, they have been around and gained popularity in last 15 years. In fact it was first presented in 1996 in the IEEE conference.

The latest one is WannaCrypt which has infected over 10,000 computers around the world just in 2 days. Interestingly the core of WannaCry ransomwhare is ETERNALBLUE a toolkit developed for the same purpose by NSA which was stolen and later got spread. 

WannaCry came to a halt when darienhuss registered a domain which he found that the virus was trying to reach. 


One initiative is NO MORE RANSOM by Kaspersky, Intel Security, the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. 
The goal of initiative is to educate people about prevention of ransomware attacks and help them unlock their files without paying an ransom to the hacker groups.

Read about the WannaCry ransomware attack and how to save yourself from this attack.
How to remove the ransomware WannaCry? I got attacked
Make your pen drive virus proof without any antivirus
Free anti ransomware tool from Kaspersky for businesses
I don't want to pay ransom - NO MORE RANSOM

Shekhar Sahu
Blogger, Photographer, Nutrition Adviser, SSE at Infosys, Artist

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