What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that makes permanent and unrecoverable changes to a computer's operating system without the owner's consent. It typically renders all data on the computer inaccessible in exchange for payment. In recent years, cryptocurrencies have become one of the main currencies used for ransomware payments.
How Does Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware, like other types of malware, spreads in several ways. The most common methods are phishing campaigns and USB drives. Phishing campaigns employ social engineering tactics to trick users into downloading malware disguised as something useful or important. One type of phishing campaign uses fake messages supposedly from healthcare companies to give people the impression their data is at risk and to download ransomware disguised as an update from the company to protect it. Hackers can also use USB drives with malicious software on them (so-called “USB Kill Switches”), which they leave lying around in public places for a passerby to discover and use.
How Does Hela Ransomware Work?
Hela ransomware disguises itself as a program designed to protect the computer and work on any operating system. When run, it replaces the master boot record of the Windows operating system with an incorrect one that also prevents Windows from starting up. Hela ransomware then displays a window informing the user that they must pay a ransom to regain their files. Ransomware also has some unique features that are not found in other types of malware, such as cryptography and various ransom payment methods (e.g., Bitcoin).
How to Protect My Computer From Ransomware
The best way to protect your computer from ransomware is to be mindful of the security and privacy of your computer. By making sure all software installed on your computer is legitimate and free from adware or virus, you ensure that no malicious software will affect this computer. You should also choose a good anti-virus program updated regularly to prevent viruses and malware from ruining your system.
You should never open an email with an attachment from someone you do not know or comes from someone whose email account is not in your address book. Even if the sender appears legitimate, you cannot know that hackers have not hijacked their email accounts. If you click on a link in the email, it could take you to a website with malware or ransomware.