Last updated 5/13/2019 at 11:17am
Grant County deputies have been receiving complaints of ransomware attacks (extortion connected to malware infections on citizens’ personal or business computers).
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website. Ransomware attempts to extort money from victims by asking for money, usually in form of cryptocurrencies, in exchange for the decryption key. But cybercriminals won’t always follow through and unlock the files they encrypted.
Please be wary of any suspicious emails with attachments and any websites which may attempt to use vulnerabilities in web browsers and other software to install ransomware. Make sure all of your system, software and anti-virus programs are up to date.
According to Microsoft, “Ransomware is one of the most lucrative revenue channels for cybercriminals, so malware authors continually improve their malware code to better target enterprise environments. Ransomware-as-a-service is a cybercriminal business model in which malware creators sell their ransomware and other services to cybercriminals, who then operate the ransomware attacks. The business model also defines profit sharing between the malware creators, ransomware operators, and other parties that may be involved. For cybercriminals, ransomware is a big business, at the expense of individuals and businesses.”
If you believe your computer has been infected with ransomware, promptly contact a computer service professional for assistance.