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Old 11-07-2015, 01:53 AM   #1
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Question How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

The newest threat in the world of the internet, ransomware! Annoying, utterly frustrating to have, and being able to avoid detection by popular anti-malware software, how can you detect such a danger? I've tried looking it up on the web, but many websites are vague as to the steps taken or software used to detect and prevent this ransomware from encrypting your computer and ransoming your data.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

You stop it by not having any ware to ransom maybe???
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

Frequent backups.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatOutLie View Post
You stop it by not having any ware to ransom maybe???
It's not as simple as that! As you know, there have been many reports of ransomware being used on sites like Sourceforge and Mediafire. Some of the installers and other packages that contain them show reputable signatures, but they are really not. It's not like ransomware only exists in rather shady packages which you donwload from some spammy site.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

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Originally Posted by seamonkey View Post
Frequent backups.
Is that the only solution?
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

It's a type of malware, so your usual protections against malware will generally still apply, but to protect against ransomware specifically, yes, frequent backups are really the best solution. The software effectively destroys your data? Have a spare copy of your data.
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

The only problem with it is that most variations of Ransomware spread through the LAN. So if it gets onto your machine there will be a widespread domino effect on all other machines connected to your LAN network. Having to backup each machine one by one and if it hits, then restoring the computers to their save-points is really really really time consuming!

There must be a more elegant solution to it... I've looked into some websites on ransomware protection, but they are pretty useless! They always ask for your home address, personal details, etc... before they can give you any information or scanner suggestions.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

REACTOR good practice is to have frequent backups anyways, Specifically you should have 3 backups, on 2 forms of media, with at least 1 copy of the media offsite. But before I go on that a couple things
1. I haven't done any research but I'm wary of the "spreads over LAN" assertion. I think common security protocol is good enough to prevent the forcible download of most packages - especially when there is no code loaded on a machine to ask for the download.
2. The good solution is to not go to sites that might have ransomware on them.
3. The almost as likely to be effective is to be pretty cautious when specifically downloading things, and keep adblocker on. Keeps background downloads down.
4. I actually think frequent backups are a pretty elegant solution. If anything ever goes wrong with your computer you have a way to fix it.
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

Ehhh... Alright, I guess that is a good point. Thanks for your advice.

Last edited by REACTOR; 11-12-2015 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: How Can You Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

Unless you have incredibly insecure network settings, no malicious software, including ransomware, will be able to infect other devices automatically via the local network unless you specifically allow it. Even the default settings on modern networking devices would be enough to stop this from happening. You would need to actually transfer infected files over to the other computer to have any risk of infecting it.

As others have mentioned, best protection against ransomware aside from general anti-malware practices is to keep regular backups of anything you wouldn't want to risk losing, which is honestly is a good practice to have even if ransomware didn't exist (most physical hard drives are notoriously unreliable).

Key thing with backups, as seamonkey mentioned, is to always have at least one on external media, and ideally you want at least one that isn't connected to the computer normally - I know two technicians I've previously worked with who each lost a flash drive with their tech software because they tried to run anti-malware programs off the drive before they realized the computer was infected with ransomware. Some iterations of ransomware are particularly nasty and can encrypt/infect external media if you're not careful, as they quickly found out.

On the off chance you do have a machine infected with ransomware, I generally wouldn't even bother with trying to fix the infection and would just go straight to an OS reinstall. If there's data you didn't back up and absolutely need to try and get back, Kaspersky has a tool that can try to disinfect the machine and decrypt the drive using a database of known private keys, but it's not a guarantee to work.
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