April 2015: Victims of Ransomware
Security experts and firms have noticed a rise in "Ransomware." Ransomware takes over the computer and makes it unusable. The hackers offer to return the computer to normal once a fine is paid. Ransomware is not new, but newer versions have become more effective and easy for the hackers to control.
Small and medium size businesses are especially targeted by these attacks because they often can't invest as much in protecting their networks. According to Trend Micro, a cyber-security firm, reported that around 30% of businesses end up paying the ransom fee since it would be cheaper than the time and effort that would be put into recovering the systems.
Systems often get infected by ransomware from phishing emails, but can also be infected from malicious websites or downloading infected files. If you become infected, remove the machine from your network immediately. Some companies offer virus removal tools that can help you retake control of your computer, but restoring your files may be much harder, or even impossible, without paying the ransom.