Ransomware for Hire: 3 Steps to Keeping Your Data Safe

  • January 11, 2016
  • 4 min read

For most people, the idea of losing all their data would send shivers down their spines. The scenario is even more alarming for companies who could risk having to reinvent man-years worth of intellectual property should their data be lost. Yet, for thousands of companies daily this nightmare becomes reality. The driving force behind this scenario is malicious software accurately named “ransomware” that encrypts files once introduced to a system.

Security, they say, is only as good as the weakest link. And, in many cases, the weakest link is well-intentioned employees focused more on getting work done than doing so securely. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the newest ransomware threat, Ransom32, and three actionable ways to keep data from being held hostage. 45714383_ml_monitor_cryptIn researching and reverse-engineering Ransom32, being sold online as ransomware-as-a-service, it quickly became apparent that it is different than other ransomware. Notably, Ransom32 was coded with JavaScript and uses the NW.js framework which allows for much more control and interaction with the underlying operating system. This benefits the developer as they can turn their web applications into normal desktop applications relatively easily—applications that are able to run the same JavaScript on different platforms and without the security-boundary restrictions of the web-browser.

As a result, an NW.js application only needs to be written once and is instantly usable on Windows, Linux and MacOS X. This means that Ransom32 could also easily be packaged for Linux and Mac OS X.  Ransom32 will encrypt users’ files, photos, documents and other data so that when their machine starts, they will see a ransom note demanding payment in Bitcoins in exchange for unlocking their data. To avoid this scenario:

bonsai-316573_1280The Chinese have a saying, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. With Ransom32’s authors offering anyone the chance to sign up, create their own custom version of the ransomware, download and distribute it, be sure to take time now to ensure these basic security principles are in place to proactively protect your data and decrease your risk of being held hostage.



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Emsisoft founder and managing director. In 1998 when I was 16, a so called 'friend' sent me a file via ICQ that unexpectedly opened my CD-ROM drive, which gave me a big scare. It marked the start of my journey to fight trojans and other malware. My story

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