The meteoric rise of ransomware attacks has become such a concern that members of Congress have taken time out of their busy days to address it.

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What is Ransomware?

In a nutshell, ransomware is malware that takes over a user’s computer or an organization’s network. It prevents the user from accessing his computer or network’s files. In order to retrieve control, the user must pay the hacker’s ransom. Once the ransom is paid in full, the computer or network is unfrozen. In most instances, ransomware accesses computers and networks through e-mail attachments. The recipient opens a seemingly harmless e-mail correspondence only to find out that its attachment contains hackers’ ransomware. Such e-mails are commonly connected to massive phishing attacks that transmit malware to credulous computer users.

Ransomware is unique in the fact that it forces computer users to actually pay money to retrieve access to their digital files. This type of elaborate hack has not been seen in the past. Its unique complexity and potential to disrupt economic activity has drawn the attention of power brokers across the world, including those in the United States Congress.

Ransomware is the “Next Level” of Malicious Software

Ransomware is extremely sophisticated. Teams of digital security experts have worked tirelessly to crack encryptions and find ways around this nasty software. Few have found any success. More often than not, the only acceptable solution is to give in to the hacker’s demand and pay the ransom. However, this is not a realistic option for companies that require computer and network access on a daily basis. According to Senator Lindsey Graham, a May 18 United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee meeting found that upwards of 40 percent of ransomware victims paid hackers to remove the malicious software.

Modern times are predominantly characterized by technological innovations. The average person relies on computers and the world wide web for everything from shopping to paying bills and storing sensitive information. The best defense against such attacks is education and mindfulness. All computer users should stay abreast of malware advancements with a special focus on the missteps that can lead to a digital infection.

Reach out to ECW Computers to speak with our team of IT experts about ransomeware and managing the potential security risks of your organization. Get in touch with us at info@ecwcomputers.com or (561) 306-2284 to learn more.