How to secure your machine from ransomware or wannacry malware

What is a malware?

A malware is a malicious program or a piece of code that upon execution will either damage your files or restrict access to your computer.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a malware, which encrypts your files and keeps everything locked. You will have to pay to the hacker to gain access to the encrypted file. Ransomware is a denial-of-access attack, it encrypts your computer’s MFT (Master file table) or your hard disk, making it inaccessible.

How does this happen?

Ransomware is a windows machine vulnerability. Ransomware gets into your machine from a hacked or malicious website, Infected thumb drives, Spam emails, bundled with other software. To read more in detail how a malware gains access to your computer read ‘How does a malware infect your PC‘

How to secure your computer from ransomware?

There are two types of identified ransomware right now.

Lockscreen ransomware
Locks your computer and restricts you from accessing any software or even the windows file explorer. This shows a full-screen access blocking page and asks you pay money to the hacker to proceed.

Encryption ransomware
This malware encrypts your files and changes it. The malware then displays you a message to pay ‘fine’ or a ‘fee’ to get access to your files.

Steps to secure your computer:

Step 1: Update your computer. Staying updated is always the key to being protected. Every software developer releases updates with bug fixes for known and user reported bugs frequently. Windows’s developer MICROSOFT has already released their windows 10 Anniversary update with fixes for blocking ransomware. Read about the windows anniversary update with an update for ransomware here.

Step 2: Don’t use infected thumb drives. Do not use an infected pen drive to move files to and from your computer. to make sure your thumb drive isn’t infected, run a virus scan with a decent antivirus software.

Step 3: Stay away from unsafe websites. A few porn websites and fake social media websites are affected. We suggest you stay away from sites that are fake and that you feel unsafe. Do not click on banner ads saying ‘you are eligible for an X dollar jackpot’ or similar. Always make sure you have a ‘secure padlock sign’ near to your browser’s URL text box.

Step 4: Do not click on spam emails. There are a lot of junk emails that you recieve on daily basis. Do not click open any of such emails, the suggested method is to avoid or delete them.