Types of Ransomware Attacks

Posted on
Sep 11, 2019
ATSI Content Team
ATSI Content Team
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Ransomware is one of the most destructive forms of malware that can affect your computer systems. Unlike other malware, which may seek to steal specific types of information or just shut down your system, ransomware is designed to bring in a large sum of money for the owner. When ransomware infects your system, it takes some or all of it "hostage." You will typically receive a message demanding a sum of money in exchange for control of the captive data and/or operations. Different types of ransomware exist, and it is important to understand each type so you can protect yourself more effectively. Below are some of the most common sources of ransomware attacks.


Perhaps the most common source of ransomware is email. In most cases, you receive an email from an unknown or even a copycat sender that contains an attachment or a link. Once you download the attachment or click on the link, the ransomware is able to infect your system. To avoid this type of ransomware, never download an attachment or follow a link if you aren't sure that it's safe. Links and attachments may be unsafe if they come from a sender you don't recognize, or even if they come from a trusted sender but were unexpected. If you recognize the sender but were not expecting an email, consider checking with the sender before you take further action to make sure he or she was not a victim of hacking.

For added protection, consider investing in a software programs designed to scan attachments before you download them.

Malicious Website Redirects

In some cases, malware infects your computer after a trusted website redirects you to a malicious one. This occurs when the website's code has been altered by a hacker. In many cases, once the redirect has occurred, you won't be able to do anything to prevent the attack.

Although it may not always be possible to protect yourself from this kind of malware attack, it is important to visit only websites you trust. Investing in protective measures, such as a firewall, is also recommended.

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USBs are another possible source of ransomware. In most cases, the USB will be sent to your company through the mail, possibly with instructions that would encourage you to use it. For example, the sender may claim to have important or compromising information you need to see. If you receive a USB in the mail and you do not recognize the sender, don't use it. If the package lists a sender you do recognize, contact the sender to verify that the device is safe before you plug it into any computer on your network.

These are some of the most common sources of ransomware you may encounter. As with any type of malicious software, preventing it from infecting your system is always the best way to reduce the risk of loss. However, if your system becomes infected with ransomware despite your efforts to protect against it, you need to call for professional help as quickly as possible in order to minimize the damage.



Topics: Internet Safety, Ransomware