Have you ever noticed that your entire music collection which you cherished for the past decade got encrypted by ransomware, immediately you click on a link in a spam mail or when you try activating macros in a malicious document? Have you also been told to pay a sum of $500 or more to get the decryption code? If yes, you are also among the 200,000 victims across 150 countries. Businesses, organizations and individuals are still trying to handle this rising terrifying virus, this has left millions of people worried if they are at risk of this ransomware. However, many still have questions such as what is ransomware? What effects does it have? How can one get this ransomware? And many more. Questions such as these will be answered here and solutions to curb this will also be offered.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software you don’t want to get in contact with. This software access your files, lock them without your permission then request for a certain sum as ransom before your files can be access by you. This software has been rampant has many have had their files locked. This malware popularly called “WannaCry”. I wonder why it called that name.
May 12, 2017, the biggest cyber-attack the world has ever experienced so far in the internet history. The vulnerability in windows OS being used by WannaCry was already discovered by NSA, this was exposed to the public by shadow broker. The existence of bitcoin and advancement in the encryption algorithms has really turned ransomware from a minor threat to a global threat. Which lead to terror we are all experiencing today.
How to handle Ransomware
Based on recent events, many ways have been created to fight these cyber-attacks. However, window 10 has proven to be the best way to stand a chance against these cyber-attacks.
According to Microsoft, windows 10 is now a worthy opponent for ransomware and malware designed to take your PC’s offline as it now offers more in-depth security protection. This in-depth security consists of a new upgrade called Window Defender ATP (Window Defender Advanced Threat Protection) service enables window 10 to block numerous malware similarly to the notorious WannaCry, cutting them off before they even have the opportunity to commence. Since a flaw in the programs of windows XP, 7 and others made it possible for ransomware and others to have a chance, launching their terrors on windows users. This lead to the decision being made by Microsoft to patch their archaic systems into a solid ransomware fighter, prioritizing the people ecosystem safety.
Methods used by window 10 to protect and detect malware
this prevent malware from exploiting any vulnerability. Adobe Flash Player has been the most used browser plugin which cybercriminals use to make people download ransomware. Microsoft Edge has been updated so that plugins execute in a confined place which prevent any exploits launched in the browser cannot run any other programs.
this is also a security upgrade in Microsoft Edge, it protect you from downloading any malicious content as they opened in a container sandbox which cross check the download with reputable-checking service available. This also help flash user, as it obstruct malware from exploiting loop-holes present in Adobe software’s. This feature helps customers who make use of Microsoft email service, its prevent and block malwares sent via emails, which is also due to the improvement on the machine learning models. The cloud infrastructure was enlarge so that antimalware researchers can make a more appropriate models to catch malwares in seconds.
this is another interesting feature Microsoft is adding but might require you using an upper-end version (subscribing to enjoy this additional features). Device guard assists enterprises stay safe from ransomware and other forms of critical malwares. Device guard is like a white-list security program alongside with AppLock. It enables you to create your own specifications, allowing only trusted application to have access and run on your system. It has proven to be an excellent check for your browser plug-ins and add-ins also. It also prevent bad drivers or system files from functioning with the aid of CPU hardware visualization technology. For this feature to help block bad drivers and system files you must have CPU visualization technology in place of AMD or Intel Technologies.
is added to the window defender. This feature pops up after the complete installation of windows 10, if toggled on which protect your files and refuse any program it finds not trustworthy to make any changes to files in the protected regions. So you don’t need to fear should you had by mistake downloaded any malicious files as it will not be able to make any changes to your files in the protected folders.
Planned Windows 10 Fall Creators Security Updates:
- The top ransomware threats in the world make use of either browser or browser plugins related to carry out their malicious acts. Microsoft now states that it has tighten up its security which is now a hard thing for malware authors to exploit Microsoft edge or windows 10.
- This new feature of Window 10 has a fast detecting and blocking malware features that might exist in emails which is the reason behind the large number of ransomware detected and blocked. Another interesting thing attached to this feature is the rapid timing for the malware to be discovered. Microsoft has really made the timing for minutes to few seconds, which won’t be enough time for this malware to launch at all.
- The new updated window defender ATP alongside with 360 ATP offers companies a way out to fish out and deal appropriately with ransomware attacks and threats.
- This features alongside many others such as Window Hello, Credential Guard etc. all these made window 10 the best choice to fight ransomware.
- Block at first sight has been incorporated into the system. i.e at any sight of a confirmed malware the upgrade immediately blocks the malware from functioning.
Microsoft warnings Individuals and companies who do not want to be encrypted by ransomware or cyber-attacks should all upgrade their OS to windows 10, because other windows apart from windows 10 do not offer the same security levels as window 10, this is for the safety of all.