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Help! I Lost My Data From Hard Disk After Ransomware Attack

Tags: ransomware

Summary: This blog guides users who have lost data from a hard disk after a Ransomware attack. It speaks about Ransomware, its types, infection vectors, symptoms, precaution, prevention and countermeasures. Read on to know more.

Ransomware Virus

Imagine a situation where you lost access to your personal memories as well as official documents that you have been saving for the past several years. You tried to access each of them, but they all seem locked and carry the same file extension. You contacted your friend and got to know you have encountered the Ransomware Attack. Adding more, what can be worse, when you even do not have a backup for the same.

Does this imply that your data is lost forever? On the contrary, No. Let’s look at how –  

Before looking forward to a solution, it is important to have a better understanding about Ransomware. Read on to know more.

What is Ransomware?

  • Synonymous to Malware or Trojan
  • Serious Online Threat
  • PC as well as Mac-based malicious software
  • Secure Revenue source for the cyber criminals
  • Online fraud that once enters your system to encrypt all data, locks PC and extorts money
  • New malware writers approach to gather funds for the illegitimate web activities

Ransomware Attack Types

Broadly speaking, there are various types of ransomware:

  1. Lock screen Ransomware

This type usually locks the system and demands a ransom to grant you access.

  1. Encryption Ransomware

This type of ransomware alters the files in the system and, in exchange, demands a specified amount to decrypt them.

  1. Master Boot Record (MBR) Ransomware

This type of ransomware turns the system operating systems in an unbootable state by overwriting affected PC MBR

  1. Android Mobile Device Ransomware

Here, the attacker either permanently locks the mobile or steals its sensitive data, and later on, demands a ransom to unlock it or return the data.

  1. IoT Ransomware

A more severe type of Ransomware. In this, the hackers are not interested in the data, rather in taking hold of the device.

Ransomware Forms

Ransomware dates back to 1989. The worst thing about it is that it does not indicate any slowing down signs. Rather, it is evolving by the day. With advancement in technology, increase in mobile device variant & Bitcoin, an anonymous payment method, it has become worse.  Due to this, Cybercriminals are on the increase who are well-versed in evading law enforcement.

Some of the Known Ransomware Forms are as follows:

  • Locky
  • Cryptolocker
  • Torrentlocker
  • Pacman
  • Cryptowall
  • Cryptofortress

 How Does Ransomware Get on Your System?

Ransomware Infection vectors are the reasons to get ransomware on your system.  These are as follows:

  1. Email Vector
  • Most common vector
  • Installed on a user’s machine
  • Involves email attachment masks as innocuous file

In this type of a vector, the user usually receives an email with a link or an attachment to download. Now, when the victim opens it or install it without authenticating, it eventually results in a ransomware infection.

  1. Drive-by-Download
  • Quickly-caught form of Ransomware
  • Can be patched by software vendor easily
  • Have a stipulated time frame where software user is vulnerable

It is a cause of many infections. It occurs when a user visits the compromised website along with a software plug-in, an old browser or an unpatched third-party application that can cause machine infection.  This compromised website uses its exploit kit, checks for known vulnerabilities, finds software bug and eventually exploits it for malicious code execution.

  1. Free Software Vector
  • Most basic form
  • Comes in several forms such as free games, game “mods”, bogus software, screensaver, etc.

With the help of this vector, the user can easily bypass any email filter or firewall. It is basic as users directly download file on its own.

What are the signs of a Ransomware attack?

  • When you suddenly cannot open a file
  • When you see alarming messages on your desktop
  • When a program generates a warning message for a countdown
  • When you see a window on your system indicating instructions on how to pay for unlocking your files
  • When you receive errors related to corrupt files, wrong file extensions, etc.
  • When Windows opens ransomware messages that cannot be closed
  • When all directories files names such as DECRYPT_INSTRUCTIONS.HTML or HOW TO DECRYPT FILES.TXT
Who are Targeted?

Anyone can become a target of the ransomware despite who you are, where you are, what device you are using? Thus, it can happen at any point, anywhere, and with anyone. It can occur when you are making a transaction, working, sending emails, surfing, and much more. The laptop, system, mobile devices, and tablets all become soft targets. It just has to locate a way to enter the device, and once it does, it simply employs the encryption as well as ransom strategies.

How does Ransomware attack?

  • Browsing untrusted websites
  • Opening as well as downloading files from unknown email senders
  • Pirated software installation as well as outdated software programs
  • Accessing PC that is part of the infected network

What to Do After A Ransomware Attack?

  • Eradicate the infected system from the Network
  • Check the status of Restore point; if it is healthy, then make attempts to restore
  • Format and reinstall Windows to restore your system and files using backed up data
  • Try to access Shadow Volume Copy Service feature to restore older file versions
  • Boot system in the Safe Mode plus launch a deep scan mode of the antivirus software
  • Try to identify the Ransomware attack form
  • Check for Ransomware Decrypt tool
  • Use Windows Unlocker to clean up ransomware infected Registry
  • Immediately report the ransomware case to the local cyber-crime cell

Precaution & Prevention Measures : Improve your protection against Ransomware

It is imperative for users to keep their Windows Operating System up-to-date. If you upgrade to Windows 10, you will reduce the events of the ransomware attack to the maximum extent.

Precaution Prevention
Ensure to enable system protection as well as file history Always back up your data on an external device
Stay alert to Phishing Emails Say No to  unknown links and download attachments from unrecognized sources
Say No to Macros loading in Office Programs Always choose ‘Show hidden file-extension’
Do not use Remote Desktop feature as much as possible Bid Goodbye to all files running from LocalAppData or AppData folders
Practice two-factor authentication Say Yes to Application Whitelisting
Always access password-protected or safe internet connection Enable AppLocker and the BIOS clock back  setting
Always avoid surfing on illegal download sites which are generally a breeding ground websites for malware Make sure to use EMET
Regularly update your antivirus software Set Windows Scripting Host to the disable mode
Ensure proper security for your database Instantly disconnect from the Internet

What if you are still not able to access your data?

Alternative Solution: Data Recovery Services

What if none of the above countermeasures and prevention work? Then, the next step would be to move to Data Recovery Services. This service helps you recover you’re your data seamlessly.

If a recommendation for the best recovery service provider is to be given, then go for Stellar Data Recovery Service Provider. The reason being, Stellar Data Recovery is a niche’ segment in the field of Data Recovery. Further, the Enterprise is ISO 27001 certified and highly accredited for its safe, secure, fast, and reliable services. The firm has its strong foothold in Vashi, Noida, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, and Hyderabad.

Few Other Traits are as follows:

  • Data Destruction assurance
  • Biometric Control infrastructure
  • Free doorstep pickup service
  • Data Encryption techniques Usage
  • No Recovery, No Charge policy
  • State-of-the-art Class 100 Clean Room Recovery Lab

Conclusion

Ransomware Attack is indeed an alarming situation. It is not only endangers data but can also harm your reputation by breaching the privacy. Therefore, exercise these preventive measure to protect yourself from such situations. Further, if the effect of the Ransomware is such that none of the above solutions work, then you can opt for the suggested Data Recovery Service Provider to counter it.

The post Help! I Lost My Data From Hard Disk After Ransomware Attack appeared first on Data Recovery Blog By Stellar Data Recovery.



This post first appeared on Stellar Data Recovery, please read the originial post: here

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