Story image

Arm your battle stations: Ransomware is growing like the plague

30 Apr 18

‘Your files have been encrypted. You have 24 hours to pay or your data will be destroyed’.

Those are words none of us ever want to see on our device screens, because they come with a certain type of dread – the dread that we are being held to ransom by a stranger.

Broadly speaking, this is what cybercriminals call ‘ransomware’ – a type of malware infection that is spread in many different ways and across different platforms including Windows, iOS, Android, and MacOS.

You could accidentally download a file, click a fake link, or visit a compromised website. If the piece of ransomware installs successfully, it is able to encrypt your files, lock your screen, and it can demand a lot of money for undoing the damage.

One wrong move on the internet is all it takes and you could be facing your computer’s worst nightmare. In some cases people have paid the ransom and still never got their files back.

According to cybersecurity provider Trend Micro, the ransomware bloodline has many families – there was a 32% increase in ransomware families in 2017 alone. Globally, that’s 631,128 threats in a single year.

In New Zealand, Trend Micro detected more than 17 million pieces of malware last year (17,352,223 to be exact) - and it also blocked more than 3.6 million clicks to malicious URLs.

The practices of backing up your important files and using trusted antivirus software have never been more important.

Trend Micro Maximum Security protects against ransomware, viruses, and evolving threats using advanced AI technology – including ‘early warning’ data that’s collected from millions of global sensors. That data is used to stop threats before they can reach you and your family.

Trend Micro Maximum Security:

  • Prevents web threats: Guards you against ransomware and other online dangers
  • Protects all your devices: Provides equal security for your PC, Mac, and mobile devices
  • Secures your transactions: Protected browser lets you bank online with legitimate financial sites
  • Shields your privacy: Blocks dangerous websites that can steal your personal data
  • Safeguards your kids: Allows your children to explore the web safely, with both time and content limits
  • Optimises performance: Fixes common problems and gets your devices running at top-speed

Trend Micro will help you lock down your security before criminals lock down your devices.

Click here to find out more about Trend Micro Maximum Security.

How to stay safe when shopping online
Online shopping is a great way to avoid the crowds – but there are risks.
Hands-on review: The Logitech R500 laser presentation remote
With a clever ergonomic design, you’ll never have to glance at the device, unless you deliberately look to use the built-in laser pointer to emphasise your presentation.
Noel Leeming slapped with $200,000 fine for misrepresentation
“This prosecution related to multiple consumers in multiple locations. It was not isolated or ‘one off’ conduct.”
GCSB welcomes Inspector-General's report on intelligence warrants
Intelligence warrants can include surveillance, private communications interception, searches of physical places and things, and the seizure of communications, information and things.
Review: Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 3?
If you are new the to the world of wearables you might be wondering if Fitbit’s new offering is a good first step. Maybe I can help with that.
Hands-on review: Anki Vector is a step up in the world of AI
See how he responds if you annoy him. You can tell him if he’s been a good or bad robot and see how he reacts.
Homegrown stress relief app to be launched next year
Researchers at the University of Auckland and an Auckland-based creative agency are working together to create a ‘world first’ app that they believe will help with stress relief.
UPDATED Review: Blue Mic’s Satellite headphones are good but...
Blue has responded to what I described as an “insidious issue” of quality control - Satellite headphones deliver on sound, aesthetic, and comfort.