Why is it so hard to find a single solution against ransomware?

Ransomware is on the rise – there are now more than 50 families of this malware in circulation — and it’s evolving quickly. With each new variant comes better encryption and new features. This is not something you can ignore!

One of the reasons why it is so difficult to find a single solution is because encryption in itself is not malicious. It is actually a good development and many benign programs use it.

The first crypto-malware used a symmetric-key algorithm, with the same key for encryption and decryption. Corrupted information could usually be deciphered successfully with the assistance of security companies. Over time, cybercriminals began to implement asymmetric cryptography algorithms that use two separate keys — a public one to encrypt files, and a private one, which is needed for decryption.

The CryptoLocker Trojan is one of the most famous pieces of ransomware. It also uses a public-key algorithm. As each computer is infected it connects to the command-and-control server to download the public key. The private key is accessible only to the criminals who wrote the CryptoLocker software. Usually, the victim has no more than 72 hours to pay the ransom before their private key is deleted forever, and it is impossible to decrypt any files without this key.

So you have to think about prevention first. Most antivirus software already includes a component that helps to identify a ransomware threat in the early stages of infection, without occurring the loss of any sensitive data. It is important for users to ensure that this functionality is switched on in their antivirus solution.

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