Ransomware—Are Your Files Really Locked Up?

by Guest Columnist

By Fahmida Y. Rashid

With ransomware becoming more profitable and attacks on the rise, it’s a prime concern for cybersecurity professionals. However, in rare—but not unheard of—instances, the ransomware may not truly be ransomware, and attackers may be trying to trick you into giving them money.

Fahmida Y. Rashid writes, “Unlike most malware, ransomware is not stealthy. It’s loud and obnoxious, and if you’ve been infected, the attackers will tell you so in no uncertain terms. After all, they want to be paid.

“‘Your personal files are encrypted,’ the message on the computer blares. ‘Your documents photos, databases, and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer.’ While the language may vary, the gist is the same: If you don’t pay the ransom—typically within 48 to 72 hours—your files are hosed.

“Or are they? There is a slim possibility the perpetrators may be trying to fake you out and the files haven’t been encrypted. While not a common scenario, it does happen, according to industry experts. Rather than paying up, you can bypass the scary fake message and move on with your day.”

Read on.



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