What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software component designed to block access to data on a computer system until certain demands are met. The malware typically encrypts the user's files and displays an image of an individual holding a ransom note, threatening to delete files unless the victim pays for their release.
How Does Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware usually spreads through spam emails and fraudulent downloads, which are aimed at tricking the user into installing the ransomware. Once installed, ransomware will search for files on local hard drives as well networked computers and encrypt them until a ransom is paid.
The ransomware asks for payment in Bitcoin or another virtual currency to prevent tracing of payments. Scammer's contact information will be limited to a private email address, so even once payment is made there is no way to ascertain whether the data was ever retrieved.
Ransomware typically hijacks an operating system by infecting it with malicious code that runs automatically when the computer boots up. This can happen via phishing emails or through drive-by downloads while browsing unsecured sites.
How Does Gru Ransomware Work?
Gru Ransomware restricts access to individual files through the use of key. Gru Ransomware is designed to encrypt different file extensions and then demand a ransom in order for the data to be retrieved. Gru Ransomware is a type of ransomware that has similarities with CryptoLocker, but it uses a different encryption algorithm. Gru Ransomware will prompt an individual on their desktop screen asking for payment before continuing on with its encryption routine. Gru Ransomware differs from most ransomware in that it does not demand specific amounts or specific time spans for payments from victims, but rather payment will simply stop if no further installments are made after the initial payment request is rejected by the victim.
Gru Ransomeware also has some unique features that are not seen with other ransomware, as it will not continue to encrypt files if there is a network connection. Also, Gru Ransomware does not encrypt files located in the AppData, Windows, ProgramData or Temp folders.
How to Remove Gru Ransomware
The best way to remove ransomware is to follow the below steps:
1) Backup your computer using an external hard drive or cloud service.
2) Disable all network connections on the device to prevent reinfection. Disabling WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth as well as closing any open ports can help prevent new infections from occurring on that machine.
3) Scan the affected system for signs of malware in order for anti-virus programs to identify and delete it before continuing with removal of Gru Ransomware. Follow your computer's manufacturer's instructions if you have not installed any anti-virus software yet.
4) Open a text file containing only asterisks so that Windows does not display error messages during scanning.
5) Run several disk cleanup tools to clean out the temp files and histories that may still be lingering on the computer. CCleaner is a great tool for this purpose.
6) Reboot the computer into safe mode with networking capabilities and scan it again for malware just to be sure all traces of Gru Ransomware have been eliminated.
How to Protect My Computer From Ransomware
The best way to protect from ransomware is by following these steps; backing up your computer, protecting your devices with an anti-virus program, and installing a malware protection software. It is also important that you download only from reputable websites as much as possible.
In addition to these actions, you should be cautious of when downloading any files as there have been instances in which ransomware has been present in a file that is usually trusted by the user. You should never open unknown attachments; read messages sent over email and text applications carefully for signs of suspicious links or links with extensions you are unfamiliar with; and avoid opening files containing scripts or programs that are new or unexpected.