The past few years have witnessed an increasing number of ransomware attacks across the globe. Unfortunately, as technology advances, they are becoming more dangerous as cybercriminals try to match the emerging technological trends.

crop hacker silhouette typing on computer keyboard while hacking system
Photo by Anete Lusina on

Even though businesses try to encrypt their sensitive information, an attack on their networks can end up costing them a lot of money. This is something every business should avoid at all costs. But how do these attacks work?

How Ransomware Works

Ransomware spreads through phishing emails, spam, and social engineering, among others. Some attackers use downloads and websites to attack networks or their target endpoints. 

There are different ways of infecting a network, and this keeps on changing in a bid to overcome new security measures brought about by technological changes. Once attacked, you might find all your files locked through encryption.

After that, the attackers might demand some form of ransom for them to give you access to your computer system. If this happens to you, follow this removal guide to remove the ransomware and restore operations;

Step 1: Infection Isolation

The speed at which you detect ransomware plays a crucial role when it comes to isolating the infection before it spreads across your entire network. When it does, it will be more difficult to deal with.

Once one of your computers has been infected, the first step is to disconnect it from your network – computers and all storage devices. Ensure that it does not have access to your network or any storage devices.

This is because crypto worms will try to attack other computers and other connections to spread as fast as they can. In addition, check to see if any other computers might have been infected and isolate them as well.

Step 2: Understand the Infection

Even though most ransomware attacks identify themselves when they start asking for ransom, some of them might not do that. You, therefore, need to find out the kind of infection you are dealing with. You can use ransomware identification websites for this.

This is an important step since it helps you understand the nature of the ransomware, how it attacks, spreads, and propagates, the type of files it will encrypt, and the options you have to get rid of it. You will also have something tangible to report to the authorities.

Step 3: Report the Attack to the Authorities

Reporting ransomware attacks to the authorities helps everyone else around the globe who might also be targeted. For instance, in the United States, the FBI requests that all ransomware attacks are reported no matter their outcome.

The authorities get to understand what they are dealing with once you report an attack to them. It also provides them with more information to deal with any ongoing cases. 

In addition, your ransomware story might be the only breakthrough the authorities are waiting for before cracking open a case that they are dealing with. 

Step 4: Look at the Options Provided

Depending on the level of attack, you might have one of the following options;

  • Removing the malware.
  • Paying the required ransom.
  • Wiping your computer systems and doing a fresh install.

Should you pay the ransom? Well, authorities have discouraged victims from paying the required ransom. This is because once you make the payment, you might be encouraging more ransomware attacks. In addition, the decryption of your files might not be successful.

The other option is removing the malware. After detecting the kind of attack you have, you can use different procedures to remove it. This might be a long shot and the crypto warms might have spread across the network.

You can also decide to wipe your computer systems and do a fresh install. This is one of the best options but then you might lose your data if you did not have a backup.

Step 5: Remove the Infection

As discussed above, you can get rid of a ransomware attack by removing it or wiping your computer systems and doing a fresh install. When removing the infection, consult with your colleagues to decide on the best way forward.

If you decide to remove the ransomware, then look for software packages and websites that claim to help people remove ransomware. You have to be careful when doing this to avoid falling into more attacks.

If you decide to wipe your computer systems, first check to see if you have any backups. If you do, then it means that you will not be losing any data. You can use one of the best cleaning tools such as CCleaner or its alternatives for this. This is the best way of removing ransomware.

Following the steps discussed above will help you get rid of ransomware attacks easily. The faster you identify an attack, the easier it is for you to remove it and restore operations.