Edit Content

Ransomware attack-Biggest online threat

Ransomware attack-Biggest online threat

written by Nishmi and Karan on 08/07/21
Table of Content

What is ransomware attack

First occurrence

Types of Ransomware

Security Vulnerabilities

How to Protect Yourself?



Ransomware attack-Biggest online threat

ransomware, cyber crime, malware-2321110.jpg


Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens the victim, by publishing their personal data or blocks access to it or computer system until the victim pays ransom. This attack is known as Ransomware attack. It is too common these days.   Ransomware attack is a type of social engineering that criminals use to infect computers, penetrate through company networks and gain access to the data. It’s a form of malicious software that encrypts the victim’s  files, documents from a single PC including the entire network system and servers.   In this case, the victim has only few choices, they can either get back their access to their encrypted network by paying a ransom to the criminals behind the ransomware, or restore from backups or look for a decryption key that is freely available or start again from scratch. The victim pays a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. The key allows the user to access the files or systems encrypted by the program(malicious software). Once the payment is obtained, the victim receives an unlock code or decryption file that decrypts the data on the computer network, mobile device or servers.   Ransomware mostly targets companies, individuals, organizations such as educational institutions, governments and hospitals. The two main types of ransomware are crypto ransomware and locker ransomware. The goal of ransomware is to convince the victim to pay a ransom to regain their access to the encrypted data files or system networks.  


The first ransomware attack was introduced in 1989 and was created by Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Popp. He is also known as the ‘FATHER OF RANSOMWARE’. The first ever ransomware virus was called the AIDS Trojan, also known as the PC Cyborg and targeted the healthcare industry.   In 1989,Joseph Popp, PhD, an AIDS researcher, carried out the attack by distributing 20,000 floppy disks to AIDS researchers, claiming that the disks contained a program that examined an individual’s risk of acquiring AIDS. However, the disk also contained a malware program that initially remained inactive in computers. The ransomware counted the number of times the PC was booted. Once it hit the 90-start threshold, the malware program activated and encrypted the machine and the files on it and displayed a message demanding that the user need to ‘renew their license’ with ‘PC Cyborg Corporation ‘ by sending $189 or $378 to a post office box in Panama.

Different types of Ransomware


WannaCry is the most widely known form of ransomware around the globe. The WannaCry has infected around 125,000 organizations in over 150 countries till now.  


CryptoLocker ransomware came into existence nearly in 2013. CryptoLocker botnet is one of the oldest forms of cyber attack in the world. It is also one of the most dangerous forms of ransomware which uses a strong encryption algorithm to block the access of devices to the owner of the devices. It Is almost impossible to restore the crypto ransomware from the infected computer and files without paying the ransom.  


It is an advanced form of cryptoLocker ransomware. It originated in early 2014 after the downfall of the original CryptoLocker variant. It also have different variant at the present times the variants are like CryptoDefense, CryptoBIT, CryptoWall 2.0 , and CryptoWall 3.0  


Locky is another form of ransomware which is designed to lock the computers of victims and prevent them from login or using the computer until a ransom is paid to the attacker. It usually spread through email messages disguised as an invoice

Security vulnerabilities – are you a potential target of ransomware attack?

There are number of factors which can cause you to be an potential target of ransomware attack:
  1.     The device is no longer state of the art
  2.     The device has outdated software
  3.     No proper plan for backup of your files
  4.     Not given proper attention to cybersecurity and don’t having any solid plan 

How to protect yourself against ransomware attacks?

Do not open suspicious email attachment:
Ransomware can also find its way to your computer device through email attachment.so only open those emails which are trustworthy. Always look at whether the sender address is correct or not then only open the email.
Never use unauthorize or unknown USB to your computer devices:
Never connect any unknown USB device to your computer because cybercriminals or the attackers may have infected the storage medium and stored it in a public place which can be accessed by any persons who pick the device and start using it.
Clicks on Unsafe links:
Never click on any links which are in spam messages or on any unknown website containing the links which can redirect you to any other website. If you click on any unsafe links then an automatic download could be started which can infect your computer
Keep Backups:
If you are running any business at personal level or at enterprise level you should have backup for all the files which you require for your business and keep it in different devices other than which you use for your business.
Build Email Protection
Scan all emails for already existing and newly coming malware strains, and keep the firewall and email protection up to date with the latest known malware.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *