Ransomware is the weird evolution of computer viruses from this ubiquitous entity online that dips into every little part of the web to an intentional and focused direct attack. The idea is actually somewhat archaic. Ransomware can often manifest as a skull as a desktop background, a frozen computer, and few options but to kind of admire the cleverness despite how awful it is. There is also the consideration of actually paying the ransom.
The Basics of Ransomware
Ransomware is a deliberate attack on an individual system file in an effort to get payment. The hacker of sorts will block entry to the computer by locking it behind a paywall. The hacker has an encryption key. If the target pays the ransom price the hacker is asking for, the encryption key will be theoretically unlocked and the content will be released to the target.
No Theft at All
What makes ransomware appealing is that hackers are not necessarily stealing much of anything. They are blocking it. The approach is appealing for hackers who may be able to access content if hey try, but they do not necessarily know what to do with it and what they have. This approach is assuming the content is valuable, but only really for that person. They block the system and hope for ransom payment.
Can a Ransom Be Paid?
The big point of advice in ransomware recovery is to not pay the ransom. Why? Unlike television, there is no middle place or meeting ground for when a deal can take place. The target pays it and they can only hope that their computer system files are released. There is no guarantee that this will occur, and in at least 1 in 4 scenarios, there is no release of the system files. The number may be conservative, forgoing reports from those too frustrated, embarrassed, or unwilling to disclose details of them being a victim.
Is paying the ransom ever a good idea? It can be, but it should be done delicately and under the guise of a professional. Thankfully, there are ways to work out of a ransomware attack without taking this, admittedly, appealing approach. Targeted individuals can work with a professional to safeguard the system, backup contents, or breach an encryption key.