The internet has given us the capability to do a lot of things that would have been thought impossible even 20 years ago. Unfortunately, not all of those things are good. Ransomware is becoming a more and more common threat these days.
It is the process of getting a threat online, usually in exchange for money. People are being threatened with things that they may or may not have done, usually having to pay to keep them from coming to light. There are a few signs in particular that you might be at risk for a ransomware attack.
1. Fishy Emails
This is a classic but one that remains effective for those looking to run ransomware attacks. You may notice an increase in suspicious emails; this is known as a phishing campaign. The sender is hoping to garner important information or credentials from you.
There are also emails that can look legitimate but embed malicious attachments or links within. When the user clicks on these attachments, it installs the ransomware on the computer and leaves them susceptible to a future ransomware attack. Avoid clicking on things that you don’t know.
2. Unknown Programs
There are a couple of programs to be on the look out for if you think that you may be at risk for a ransomware attack. There are programs like GMER and Process Hacker that can be placed onto your device to try to remove antivirus software and other security measures.
There are also MimiKatz and Microsoft Process Explorer that are used to steal credentials. If you see any of these, uninstall them as soon as you can or shut your device down until a professional can look at it and assess the situation.
3. Smaller Attacks
Not every hacker works under the same guidelines. There are different methods that they use to attack you, gaining the information that they need to launch those attacks. Some hackers, for instance, will use much smaller attacks as a way to preface a larger one.
They do so in order to find any potential vulnerabilities within your network. When they have found the weak spot, they will launch a full-scale attack. If you notice a few more blips than normal getting caught by your antivirus or any other security software, it could be an indication that an attack is coming.
4. Network Scanners
Network scanners are becoming more commonplace as well, particularly when it comes to company servers. While that may not be a huge deal, it could be a sign that cybercriminals are attempting to get into your network.
Having network scanners is a great way to catch any abnormalities but unless they are caught early, they might not have the impact that you were hoping to achieve. Make sure to run regular checks if you think that you are at risk for an attack and think about switching up your security software and protocols as well.
5. Active Directory
Hackers will oftentimes try to gain access to your Active Directory so that they can change access and credentials in their favour. To do this, they use tools such as AD Find and BloodHound to gain access to your active directory and make those changes.
It is a good idea to check your programs list every once in a while just to make sure that nothing looks out of place. If you see any one of these programs, uninstall it first. If you can’t, shut down your device and wait until you can have it seen by a professional before doing anything else.