Your computer has been kidnapped.

--Originally published at Merino is talking about security.

The government of {{Insert current location country name}} has found {{Insert illegal material}} on your computer, please pay the fine of {{Insert ridiculous amount of money}} to regain access to your computer. 

Kidnapped!? Really!? Yes. Thanks to this thing called Ransomware Internet pirates and other evil doers can lock all information on your computer, encrypting it so you can't use it. Now you have to pay them an amount of money to regain access to it, or say goodbye to your precious data. 

As explained above, a Ransomware attack targets your computer and encrypts various files and folders in your computer, rendering them useless. You can get attacked by it if you'r computers gets infected with a virus or you run a malicious script, the attacker hides the code as an e-mail attachment, a link on an infected webpage, videos on iffy pages, system updates, etc. Not very different than other kinds of attacks. But what makes Ransomware different from other kinds of attack is that, while others may just want to ruin your computer or steal your info, Ransomware will actually ask you to pay the rescue, and paying doesn't warranty that your information won't be copied or/and stolen, it doesn't even warranty that it will be released. 

Many times they will mask the attack as a sort of government issued computer search-warrant, claiming that illegal material has been found in your computer, and that you have to pay a fine to regain access to your machine. 

So, how can I protect myself?
  •  Anti-virus, Anti-malware all the way. These are the main ways that ransomware gets distributed, so try using these layers of protection.
  • Don't click random links, check the address to see if its a site you thrust, hover (without clicking) the mouse on the link Continue reading "Your computer has been kidnapped."