How to recover data after ransomware attack

If your organization might be affected by ransomware:

  • Contain the attack by disconnecting infected machines from the network.
  • Contact us as early as possible. Our team will provide a free consultation and advise on options for data recovery and how to prevent further potential data loss.
  • Avoid do-it-yourself attempts to decrypt the affected data. Doing so could make future recovery attempts impossible.

What is Ransomware?

  • Ransomware is malicious software (Malicious software – A superset of all the types of software like viruses, worms, etc., intended to secretly harm a computer, and/or the data stored in it).
  • It gets executed on a PC via malicious download or visiting a malicious/compromised website or by any other infected computer on the same network.
  • Ransomware generally encrypts the data, and/or block your device and are intended to force you to pay a ransom to the attacker in-lieu of decrypting the data or unlocking the device. The device could be a PC, an Internet of Things (IoT) device, or a mobile device.
  • It can seize your access and can control your Internet of Things (IoT) device.
  • It gives an attacker the access to victim’s data or device or both.

In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 2,474 ransomware complaints, and those are just the ones that got reported. Cybersecurity Ventures expects that businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021, up from every 14 seconds in 2019, and every 40 seconds in 2016.

Types of Ransomware?

1: Locker Ransomware
2: Crypto Ransomware
3: Scareware Ransomware
4: Android Mobile Device Ransomware
5: IoT Ransomware

How Does Ransomware Get on Your System?

  • Ransomware can get into your system by browsing untrusted websites
  • It can spread in your system by opening or downloading email attachments from an untrusted source
  • Installing software, games, etc. from untrusted sources can also lead to ransomware infection.
  • Accessing a PC that is a part of an infected network can also invite ransomware infection.

How Does Ransomware Spread?

1. Email Vector

  • Most common vector
  • Email attachment or link carries the infectious code.

2. Drive-by Download

3. Free Software Vector

How Does Ransomware Work?

  • Non-encrypting ransomware or lock screens (restricts access to files and data, but does not encrypt them).
  • Ransomware that encrypts the Master Boot Record (MBR) of a drive or Microsoft’s NTFS, which prevents victims’ computers from being booted up in a live OS environment.
  • Leakware or extortionware (steals compromising or damaging data that the attackers then threaten to release if ransom is not paid).
  • Mobile device ransomware (infects cell-phones through drive-by downloads or fake apps).

Steps in a Typical Ransomware Attack-

1. Infection: After it has been delivered to the system via email attachment, phishing email, infected application or other method, the ransomware installs itself on the endpoint and any network devices it can access.

2. Secure Key Exchange: The ransomware contacts the command and control server operated by the cybercriminals behind the attack to generate the cryptographic keys to be used on the local system.

3. Encryption: The ransomware starts encrypting any files it can find on local machines and the network.

4. Extortion: With the encryption work done, the ransomware displays instructions for extortion and ransom payment, threatening destruction of data if payment is not made.

5. Unlocking: Organizations can either pay the ransom and hope for the cybercriminals to actually decrypt the affected files, or they can attempt recovery by removing infected files and systems from the network and restoring data from clean backups. Unfortunately, negotiating with cyber criminals is often a lost cause as a recent report found that.

So, you’ve been attacked by ransomware. What should you do next?

What to Do After a Ransomware Virus Attack?

Given below are some of the solutions that may work and recover your data:

  • Remove the infected device from the Network
  • Boot the system in Safe Mode plus launch a deep scan mode of the antivirus software
  • Use the “Restore previous versions” option to restore your encrypted files
  • Check the status of Restore point; if it is healthy, then make attempts to restore your data from there
  • Use Windows Unlocker to clean up ransomware infected Registry
  • Do not pay the ransom

1. Isolate the Infection: Prevent the infection from spreading by separating all infected computers from each other, shared storage, and the network.

2. Identify the Infection: From messages, evidence on the computer, and identification tools, determine which malware strain you are dealing with.

3. Report: Report to the authorities to support and coordinate measures to counter attack.

4. Determine Your Options: You have a number of ways to deal with the infection. Determine which approach is best for you.5. Restore and Refresh: Use safe backups and program and software sources to restore your computer or outfit a new platform.

6. Plan to Prevent Recurrence: Make an assessment of how the infection occurred and what you can do to put measures into place that will prevent it from happening again.

  • Immediately report the ransomware case to the local cyber-crime cell

Best Practices to Defeat Ransomware

What are Ransomware Data Recovery Methods?

1. Recover the Encrypted/Deleted ransomware data from Backup:

Encrypted ransomware files can easily be recovered by restoring original files from the external backup device. This can be done only in case if you have a regular backup of your device data in an external Hard drive, SSD, SD card, Pen drive, cloud storage or any other storage device.

2. Recover Encrypted/Deleted ransomware data by Data Recovery Software

If there is no backup available, then you can use data recovery software to recover encrypted files from Hard Drive, SD card, Pen Drive and any other storage device.

3. Recover Encrypted/Deleted ransomware data by using Ransomware Data Recovery Services

Ransomware virus Protection-

1. Use anti-virus and anti-malware software or other security policies to block known payloads from launching.
2. Make frequent, comprehensive backups of all important files and isolate them from local and open networks.
3. Immutable backup options such as Object Lock offer users a way to maintain truly air-gapped backups. The data is fixed, unchangeable, and cannot be deleted within the time frame set by the end-user. With immutability set on critical data, you can quickly restore uninfected data from your immutable backups, deploy them, and return to business without interruption
4. Keep offline backups of data stored in locations inaccessible from any potentially infected computer, such as disconnected external storage drives or the cloud, which prevents them from being accessed by the ransomware.
5. Install the latest security updates issued by software vendors of your OS and applications. Remember to patch early and patch often to close known vulnerabilities in operating systems, browsers, and web plugins.
6. Consider deploying security software to protect endpoints, email servers, and network systems from infection.
7. Exercise cyber hygiene, such as using caution when opening email attachments and links.8. Segment your networks to keep critical computers isolated and to prevent the spread of malware in case of attack. Turn off unneeded network shares.
9. Turn off admin rights for users who don’t require them. Give users the lowest system permissions they need to do their work.
10. Restrict write permissions on file servers as much as possible.
11. Educate yourself, your employees, and your family in best practices to keep malware out of your systems. Update everyone on the latest email phishing scams and human engineering aimed at turning victims into abettors.

 

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