Ransomware Attacks Blew Up 2016
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts your data, refusing to unlock it until the payment demands are met. Unfortunately, decrypting your files can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. Leaving few ways to fix your PC after infection. Some victims end up paying the ransom demands to get access to their files again. Others restore their systems with the backup files they have. It should be noted, paying the ransom is quite possibly the worst thing you can do, and here is why:
- There are not guarantees the hackers will decrypt your files after receiving your payment.
- By paying the demands, you’re only reinforcing the criminal behavior.
- You place a target on your back for future ransomware attacks. If you pay once, you’ll likely pay again.
Ransomware has been progressively increasing since it originated in 1989. The largest spike in ransomware attacks took place in 2016. According to ZD Net, in 2015 there were 3.8 million attacks. In 2016 this number rose 167%, to 638 million ransomware attacks. What is even more shocking is, these are only the reported attacks. Unfortunately, many home and business users do not report when they have been hit with ransomware due to a few different factors. These may include the fear of negative publicity, or not knowing how or where to report the ransomware attacks to.
If you find yourself infected with ransomware, it is important you report it to the local authorities, as well as the FBI. Like any other criminals, cyber criminals cannot be caught if the crime goes unreported.