Ransomware attacks by hackers are now part of everyday life – even on personal computers. Most of the time, companies are targeted by the attackers, because this is where the big money beckons. However, that does not mean that the personal user is not safe from it. Cyber criminals rely on mass and continuous income from smaller amounts. Such attacks against consumers are increasing. The potential victims should therefore know the most important attack vectors.
How do hackers infect computers with ransomware?
Bitdefender enumerates five ways by which hackers spread their data-encrypting malware to victims‘ hardware:
Some of the most common places where you can get infected with ransomware are warez-se iten and torrents. Here, users usually download pirated content or unofficial software packages that are not verified by official sources. These already questionable channels are the perfect opportunity for ransomware to sneak in unnoticed. A popular computer game or video content serves as a trusted facade for infected software packages that the ransomware uses to install itself. Remedy: Hands off! Pirated software is fundamentally problematic and also harbors an incalculable risk of ransomware. It can only be advised against.
: Check all offers. The attackers often give themselves away through small details in their corporate identity or in correspondence. An incorrect address can be an important clue. It is also advisable to be able to contact the company in another way to rule out an attempt at fraud. The more attractive the offer is, the more careful users should be.
Another way to spread ransomware is through tech support scam. Fraudsters are particularly targeting older people and other vulnerable target groups. They convince their victims that they need technical assistance and that they need to grant them remote access to their computers for that purpose. Tech support scammers use no actual ransomware to launch their ransomware attacks. Instead, they use Syskey, a now deprecated component of Windows NT that uses the Security Account Manager (SAM) database with a 100-bit RC4 key encrypted. It was only decades later with Windows 03 because its encryption was no longer secure and it was repeatedly misused for ransomware attacks. But users should not be fooled: support scammers use real ransomware instead and they don’t miss an opportunity to encrypt their data.
: Caution. Distrust is half the battle to prevent such attacks. Common sense says: As a rule, one recognizes problems on the PC first oneself and a call from someone unknown is more than unusual. Reputable providers do not knock on the door of consumers without being asked. Anyone who knows older or young people should point out that it is better to block such contacts from the outset. In case of problems, the manufacturer support or the specialist shop is the right choice.
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