What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is one of the more evolved versions of malware that have cropped up in recent times. The major feature of this software is that it is very difficult to trace, which makes it a huge boon for the people who need such things. Understanding how ransomware works and using the best ransomware out there is an important part of ensuring that you get the best experience possible. Provided below is some information about the inner workings of ransomware, along with a list of the top ten ransomware available right now.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware essentially starts as an email. The software is hidden inside this email, and the key element that allows it to be so effective is the fact that it can bypass any anti-malware software that might be on the computer that is being attacked. Since it cannot be detected by spam, the ransomware enters the inbox of the user whose system is being penetrated. The email looks pretty benign and shows a link to a Software as a Service (SaaS) application. Once the user clicks on this link, they are taken to a website.
This website also looks pretty benign, and the user can spend as much time on here as they want because the damage has already been done. The user is going to end up accepting the download of a file as it looks legitimate, and this file is going to be the application that ends up taking over the PC in question. Ransomware can't be detected by antiviruses either; it looks like a legitimate application, which is why it is so difficult to stop in its tracks.
Once the ransomware is on the PC, it will encrypt all the files that are on the hard drive. This means that pretty much all the information that is on this computer will be impossible to access. That said, the only option will be to reinstall the operating system which is simply not possible if you have important information on the computer that you need.
Now that the information has been encrypted, the ransomware is going to deliver a ransom note, asking for a certain amount to allow access to the files again. It would also try to spread to other PCs in the network. Generally, companies are targeted with ransomware to get them to pay up to save their precious data.
Top 10 Most Dangerous Ransomware
Ransomware is brilliantly simple and nearly impossible to detect, which is why it has become such a hot topic as of late, with a number of large companies trying to get rid of it as much as they can. However, there are far too many different kinds of ransomware out there for people to find a way to prevent them from attacking. The list provided below includes ten of the most dangerous ransomware on the Internet.
It is one of the newer types of ransomware, which was part of the flurry of ransomware attacks that took place during the early months of 2016. The first time that this ransomware was ever detected was as early as February last year, which was the time during which ransomware was still initially being discovered. It resulted in one of the major ransomware attacks in 2016. When a hospital was infected with this ransomware, the managers at this hospital had no choice but to pay the forty bitcoins in ransom, which amounted to over seventeen thousand dollars! In fact, Locky is the reason ransomware has become popular once again.
This ransomware had a great run in 2016 and was used in a number of different attacks. It is now defunct, with its developers releasing the master key to the software after removing it from various systems. People whose systems were infected by ransomware were able to use this key in order to finally regain access to their files without having to pay the ransom. However, it should be noted that without this key, it would have been absolutely impossible for them to gain access to their files, which is why TeslaCrypt was considered so effective.
The thing that makes this ransomware a force to be reckoned with is that it can also access drives that were previously connected to the system, thus making its destructive capacity far more serious than other ransomware that was launched during this time. One of the most potent aspects of this product is the fact that it can corrupt and overwrite the very boot file of your operating system, which would result in you seeing a ransom note rather than the page that you would have otherwise used to log in to your site.
This is one of the more sinister versions of ransomware that has terrorized people all over the country. The thing that makes this ransomware so dangerous is because it would make it very difficult for you to say no to the ransom since you would be getting a custom ransom note that would have all of your details including your name, birthday, and IP address. This is usually enough to scare pretty much anybody into forking over the cash, so this ransomware has earned its developers quite a bit of money thanks to the custom touch that it provides.
This was a powerful ransomware that attacked entire servers and made them absolutely impossible to access. The important thing that made this ransomware so effective was the multiple languages it was shown in and in certain situations, the ransom note was even spoken through a voice app that was added to the software. This ransomware came quietly onto the scene and caused so much havoc that it came to be known as a grave threat. People took it extremely seriously, thereby resulting in it being cracked, though it survived thanks to the tenacity of the developers.
6. Petya and Mischa
This is one of the first examples of ransomware being provided as a service that people were actually buying. The major benefit of this ransomware was the fact that it had a contingency plan for pretty much every situation that could have possibly arisen, thereby making it far more likely that the victims would end up paying up. Pretty much anything that the victim could try would end up making the situation worse.
This is another example of how ransomware has evolved over the past year. This ransomware is notable for providing victims the chance to become affiliates and attack other systems, thereby essentially making converts in the corporate community. This is part of what made this ransomware so popular; it would provide victims with a chance to earn far, far more than they had lost, which helped propagate this ransomware and spread it so much that it got a lot of attention from the authorities. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about this ransomware was that people were so willing to use it on others even after suffering themselves.
This ransomware is aptly named after the serial killer from the Saw movie series because it was so brutal. Once it took hold of the system, it would provide users with a single day, a window of twenty-four hours, to pay the ransom. After this extremely short window would pass, the ransomware would begin assaulting the very data it was holding ransom by deleting it bit by bit with a piece of data getting removed every hour until either the ransom was paid or the hard disk was completely empty. This is one of the more aggressive forms of ransomware that was used to target a great many businesses, many of whom lost a great deal of data because they were not able to come up with the ransom money in time.
This ransomware is notable because of how it propagated itself, spreading rather quickly until it eventually consumed entire systems in extremely short amounts of time. One of the major benefits of this ransomware for the developers was that it could take hold of multiple computers in short periods of time before the users even realized what was happening. The individual ransoms would total to amounts that were ridiculously high, and the victims had no option but to pay up since their precious data was being held.
This is one of the more low-key ransomware variations, which is why it has been around since way back in 2014, making it one of the first instances of ransomware ever to be detected. It did not do anything with high visibility last year, but it did hide a number of targets quietly, which is why this ransomware is still around.