Of all the online threats that put your computer at risk, ransomware is probably the most unsettling. But how does one become infected? This video from online security provider Kaspersky shows a ransomware attack taking place through Microsoft Word.
A ransomware attack is usually delivered via an e-mail attachment which could be an executable file, an archive or an image. Once the attachment is opened, the malware is released into the user's system.
Sometimes the infection lurks in the background before an attack is triggered, making it difficult for the victim to pinpoint what caused it. All of a sudden, a dialogue box pops up and informs you that your data has been locked and you need to pay a ransom to retrieve it.
The above video from Kaspersky Labs shows one of these nefarious hacks in action with explanatory text for each step of the process. As you can see, your entire system can be compromised with just a few careless mouse clicks.
In related news, Kaspersky today announced No More Ransom, an online portal that will attempt to aid victims in recovering their data without having to pay ransom to the cybercriminals. This is a joint initiative from the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab.
Naturally, the best protection against ransomware is to regularly backup all your data, preferably via the tried-and-proven rule of three. For more information on ransomware and essential preventative tips, click here.