What to Do When Hit by Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming just as common as malware, and it is targeting many companies and individuals. This is the option for hackers who are looking to make money off of the trouble they inflict. So what can you do if you are hit by ransomware?

Pay the Ransom: The Old Method

One option that was being used by the FBI was to pay the ransom. However, the FBI has recently retracted this method of beating ransomware. FBI Ransomware professionals once stated that in order to get your files and information back, the fastest method was to simply pay the hackers what they were wanting. In the end, this was costing individuals and companies anywhere from $200 to $10,000, depending upon the amount of information, as well as the importance of this information that was stolen. From the time period of April 2014 to June of 2015, ransomware from hackers made the hackers around $18 million.

The problem with this method is that can you be for certain that hackers are going to give you back the information that they have stolen? This is a fear of many, and now why the FBI ransomware professionals are advising that people not pay the fee that hackers are demanding.

Ransomware Decryption Removal

The FBI Ransomware infection is one that is installed on your computer, that simply locks you out of your computer unless you pay a random of around $100 or $200 for access again. This type of infection is very common. It installs on the computer once you visit a website that is infected. The next time that you log onto your computer, you will see the information that you are locked out unless you pay the ransom. The good news is that you can remove this type of infection on your own. Here are the steps:

  1. Start the computer in Network Safe Mode
  2. Once prompted, login with the current user account, the one that is infected
  3. Once online, download and safe the Bitdefender Trojan.Ransom.IcePol generic removal tool. It can be found here
  4. Save this file, and then open it
  5. Once opened, start the scan and wait for the tool to finish
  6. Reboot your PC as normal, and the infection should be removed

Ransomware Protection

The real way to deal with getting hit by ransomware, is to have some sort of protection in place. Here are the tips for ransomware protection:

  1. Use antivirus software
  2. Use a firewall
  3. Enable a popup blocker
  4. Back up the content on your computer in the event that you do get attacked by ransomware so that you do not lose everything
  5. Do not click on advertisements, emails or attachments that you do not recognize
  6. Avoid suspicious websites

If you do get attacked, be sure that you file a report with the local FBI field office so that they are aware of this attack. The FBI is always compiling data on these attacks, so that they can warn the general public about this risk. For other helpful tips on securing your online activity, click here.