No, this isn’t the latest teen Sci-fi flick trying to capture the Potter readers that have grown up. This is Malwarebyte’s attempt at fighting the Ransomware War. I have seen it happen at work (more like the aftermath) where an employee would go to a link he was sent in an email, and it would take him to a website that seemed legit. The next day, the employee finds out he can’t open any files of his, because it was all encrypted by Ransomware that had infected his machine and part of a Dept network drive.
The only way to decrypt the files is to pay the Ransomware maker using Bitcoin, and they would (I hope) send you the key to decrypt the files. If you don’t pay, then I hope you have backups of your data, and you don’t mind having your hard drive wiped and starting all over.
Ransomware is easy to understand but hard to beat. It infects the machine, encrypts all files and then demands payment to get the files back. Ransomware works so well that most variants will even remove themselves when the damage is done, knowing you have the choice of either paying the Ransomware author to get your files back, or risk losing them forever.
Now there has been very little help to fight Ransomware from ever touching a file on your machine. Your basic Anti-Virus software suite can handle viruses, hijacks and adware/spyware etc. Ransomware can go undetected by these Anti-virus programs as its more complex.
By the way, Malwarebytes and SUPERAntispyware are two of the top dedicated anti-malware programs out there. I recommend downloading one of them, and running a weekly scan. (DO NOT UNINSTALL OR DISABLE your current anti-virus)
They have free versions you can download, but I recommend the Pro versions. I use SUPERAntispyware on my PC, since they offered a Lifetime license for it a few years ago. Malwarebytes is the top dog though IMO. Spring for the pro versions for one of the two. You can then schedule scans within it, and it unlocks real-time scanning. Basically set it and forget it. It’s worth the peace of mind.
Back to Malwarebytes latest creation, this program (which is in beta) will provide real-time scanning for Ransomware. It will be an additional download, but I am sure they will incorporate into their flagship malware program to make it an absolute killer of all that is Malware when they get to that point in the development. Check out their blog post below to understand more of what they have been doing in their labs. This Ransomware problem will just mutate as its being fought, and will be ever changing, but at least you have a better chance against it now. I will make update posts about the Anti-Ransomware program as time goes on. Any questions, comment below.
Download link in the forum post below. They recommend running the program in a non-production environment (test) for now.