What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a ransom is paid. It makes use of the Internet to spread from one device to many devices, encrypting important files and demanding payment in order for them to be unencrypted.
How Does Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities in software. It then uses the victim’s machine to propagate further, converting any device that it infects into a ransomware-shooting robot. The virus currently spreads via phishing emails, the network vulnerability or blurring out the screen so that no one can use the computer until a ransom is paid.
Encrypting files and demanding payment is what ransomware does, but this doesn’t always happen in every instance of ransomware. Sometimes the encryption process does not happen because if there isn’t payment made by an agreed deadline within which time, key parts of your drive may be deleted leaving them inaccessible forever unless you pay up on time.
The most common technique for spreading ransomware is email phishing, where users are tricked into opening malicious attachments or clicking on links to websites that exploit vulnerabilities in software. Other attackers use DNS hijacking to redirect their victims’ web traffic, so they unknowingly download and install malware onto their computers.
How Does Pause Ransomware Work?
Pause Ransomware, a name coined by Microsoft researchers, has been found to contain “kill switches” designed to block any attempt at decrypting the files that have been encrypted. The Pause malware blocks unwanted attempts to decrypt the files and even if there is an attempt made by a third party after previously being blocked. Pause Ransomware also uses the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in order to run linux commands on its victims’ computers and execute programs on them without authorization.
Once infected with Pause Ransomware, an individual will not be able to access their data until they pay up via Bitcoin which can fluctuate in price due it being digital currency. Paying up will give you the decryption key to retrieve your data and pay up via Bitcoin.
While the kill switch in Pause Ransomware is not new to cyber-crime, the malware which contains it is so far unique among current ransomware threats. The kill switch is useful because along with preventing a user from retrieving their files, ransomware can also prevent researchers from identifying or retrieving any logs that will aid in identifying the perpetrator as well as the malware itself.
How to Remove Pause Ransomware
A few ways to remove Pause ransomware:
-With the assistance of the Windows command “sfc /scannow”, which will scan and repair any corrupted Windows files.
-Using Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender Offline to create a bootable image on a USB drive or CD.
-By utilizing Microsoft’s free security software for Windows 10, Defender Antivirus for Ransomware Protection which will quarantine any ransomware discovered on your PC.
How to Protect My Computer From Ransomware
You can protect your computer from ransomware in a few ways:
-Creating a bootable image using Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender Offline to avoid infection
-Using Microsoft’s free security software for Windows 10, Defender Antivirus for Ransomware Protection which will quarantine any ransomware discovered on your PC.
-Screening all emails that come into an inbox and disabling the senders' permissions if they are not trustworthy or reputable.
-Downloading and installing the most recent Windows updates for internet security.
-Using a form of security software that is designed to protect your entire system from attack, including the Windows Firewall.
-Always being running updated versions of all software as well as a firewall to prevent unauthorized access.