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Being attacked by a ransomware virus can be
as terrifying of an experience as anything for both citizens and business
owners as well. The threat of losing years’ worth of data and personal information
to hackers means most of the victims pay up quickly to once again possess their
files which is exactly what the FBI is requests civilians to avoid.

According to Forbes, despite their expansion,
ransomware attacks, that have caused $209 million in damages in the first three
months of 2016 alone, victims should only surrender to the financial demands of
an attacker once all other avenues have been exhausted.

Not only is it difficult for a victim to evade
payment — especially since many ransomware threats come with a time limit
before your data is deleted permanently — but finding the perpetrators within
that span of time is not easy. Ransomware attackers almost always ask to pay in
Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that is incredibly difficult to trace. In addition, a
huge percent of the attacks are carried out on smaller companies or individuals,
with a small ransoms in demand. Instead of investing big money for the
resources needed to track down these criminals, law enforcement uses
weaker, open source technologies to deal with small-case heists.

The rise in attacks could be corroborated
to the fact that the most common form of malicious coding, which infiltrates
a network and encrypts data to restrict access to files, is so easy to
obtain, costing as little as $100 in the dark web.

According to the cybersecurity department
at the FBI, there are steps to combat such attacks from happening or doing a
lot of damage. Backup all important files and make sure those copies aren’t
connected to the same network. And, of course, implement all security measures
available, including anti-malware and internet security software,
ensuring all programs are up-to-date and running constantly.

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