Monday, July 31, 2006

Ransomware

A new problem is spreading around and can cause major problems. Ransomware is a Trojan virus that encrypts the data on your computer. A payment is then asked for the secret key, required to decrypt your files. Your PC held hostage! The problem is not new, but the Trojans get more sophisticated and are usen increasingly better encryption routines. A spokesman from Kaspersky Lab stated that they can still decrypt most of the ransomware infected data in a reasonable time, but fears that new Trojans with better encryption algorithms based on RSA, Blowfish or AES are just a matter of time. If those are used, Anti-Virus compagnies will no longer be able to retrieve the encrypted data.

There are only three ways to defend against ransomware. The first is not to let it get on your computer, but that's not obvious and Anti-Virus makers are always one step behind. Second solution is to get the writers of this malware behind bars, which is not easy and often legally impossible. The safest way to protect yourself is to take regular backups of your data, and that's probably the only realistic defense against this new type of cyber criminality. More on ransomware on Techworld.

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