Of all the malware viruses that have appeared in recent years, ransomware is the most pernicious and malevolent. Ransomware effectively is a “kidnapping” of the infected computer. Worse is that with infection, there is no guarantee that the virus won’t reactivate or that the computer can even be cleared of it.
What Exactly Is Ransomware?
A ransomware virus is a malware program that is designed, upon download, to replicate itself and attach its copies to each and every file in the database. Once attached, the infected files are password-locked and unopenable. Some ransomware programs go further and attack the master file directory itself. The only file that can be opened on the desktop is a .txt file. This is the ransom note informing the owner that the decryption key to open all files is available for a payment.
In all cases, the ransom payment is to be tendered in bitcoin e-currency and directed to a phony account set up to shield the extortionist from detection and traceback. The criminal promises that the decryption key will be e-mailed to the victim upon receipt of payment. However, there is no guarantee that the criminal will follow through. Furthermore, there is the possibility that the virus will reactivate at some future date and another ransom demand subsequently made. This makes ransomware removal and recovery of data the better option than giving in.
What Can Be Done?
The process of ransomware recovery begins by contacting a malware hunting service. They offer their assistance free on the web and have the victim send an infected file to detect the specific ransomware virus involved. Their computers are already set up to protect themselves from infection. Once the virus is identified, the correct decryption bypass tool is downloaded. This tool sets the master key and recovery of files then proceeds. The next step is to eliminate the virus from the system and recover data.
The Other Part Of The Process
On Windows OS, the System Restore option allows access to the volume backup of all files. From these uninfected copies, clean files can be generated after the suspect files are purged. Free open-source data recovery tools downloaded to and installed from a USB drive perform a scan of all files. Afterward, those files the owner desires can be transferred to an external drive and held there until a full purge of the system using the latest antivirus software is completed.