Better Protection, Faster Detection and Streamlined Correction

What Is Ransomware And What Are The Main Ways Of Protection?


Ransomware is among the fastest growing risks in the cybersecurity landscape. Nowadays, it can feel as one day does not go by with no news of an additional major outbreak of ransomware anywhere in the planet.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malicious software created to acquire a ransom out of the person of an infected system. Many kinds of it are available and are distinguished by the various strategies they use for removing the ransom:

System lockers block the user from accessing the os until a ransom is paid.

Application lockers block the user from accessing certain function or software (usually a web browser or maybe certain sites) until a ransom is paid.

Data encrypting ransomware encrypts information on the specific system until a ransom is paid.

Fake data encryption ransomware just deletes most information while attempting to persuade the user that the information was encrypted and also attempting to extort a ransom to unlock it.

Ransomware Detection Solution

In the present situation, the need for methods which are in a position to guard against ransomware has in addition increased.

The most common method of ransomware protection is a security software deployment that would help to prevent ransomware infections.Nevertheless, actually developing solutions which are able to efficiently dealing with never-before-seen threats is very complicated.

Regular signature-based antivirus software deployment is ill-fitted to tackle zero-day attacks. Next-generation antivirus software armed with extensive event-driven behavior analytics algorithms which can detect both zero-day malware plus non-malware attacks is needed to be able to identify and prevent new ransomware threats.

What is The Typical Ransomware Behavior ?

Though several strains of ransomware exist, each one making use of a unique delivery technique and also numerous encryption algorithm, you can find specific patterns of behavior which may be due to the vast majority of various strains. Such conduct includes:

Disabling system restores functionality – Ransomware frequently attempts to turn off all integrated product attributes that enable users to bring altered files or even come again the device to a prior state.

For Windows, it typically disables the system restore service and also deletes shadow copies to block the person from over partly restoring encrypted access and data to the product.

Persistent payload – Like a vast majority of malware, ransomware must have a method to make sure that the strike might be continued and also finished even when the target endpoint is rebooted.

Therefore, the vast majority of ransomware uses integrated operating system performance to make sure that it is going to start immediately after reboot. For Windows systems, it is able to put itself within the startup folder, modify the registry, produce a scheduled job to run automatically, and so on.

Network usage – Ransomware is able to utilize existing community contacts to send encryption keys to the remote server. At times, additional payload files can also be downloaded via the system – one thing that’s frequently observed in specific ransomware, or maybe the kind intended to make use of a certain exploit.

In order to maintain anonymity, criminals typically register randomly generated domain names with anonymous top-level domains.

Environment mapping – Before initiating an attack, ransomware typically maps the surroundings of the device it operates on. This could have numerous applications. To begin with, it enables ransomware to identify the target location and language. Certain strands use this info to stay away from targeting endpoints placed in certain places. For instance, the Cerber ransomware was created not to begin an assault in case it detects that a target system utilizes the Russian language.

Environment mapping may also be applied to detect valuable files which may be targeted for encryption and also security measures which can be bypassed. Some ransomware strains also utilize green mapping for safety, by detecting whether they are working on a true device or perhaps for a virtual machine. When a virtual machine is recognized, the ransomware shuts down to avoid security experts from learning its behavior.

Privilege escalation – Sometimes, to begin an assault and also cover the tracks, ransomware might require administrative permissions (to overwrite the Master Boot Record, for instance) which aren’t accessible to the present user. Consequently, different techniques could be utilized to escalate the privilege level.

Ransom notes – Ransomware generally uses ransom notes to communicate ransom demands to victims. Some strains choose text-based notes, while others use images. Ransom notes are placed within the malware files and may be utilized to recognize it.

Mass file operations – When encrypting data, ransomware has a tendency to transfer and also delete original files while simultaneously producing brand new ones. Additionally, it frequently renames files en masse, usually attaching an extension on the first filename.

Additionally, ransomware often utilizes the strategies used by a normal Trojan or maybe a disease to be able to go undetected. Such strategies consist of working under fake system processes, performing from system sites, and also utilizing system executable names.

Possible Difficulties in Ransomware Detection

A behavior-based approach to ransomware detection proves useful perhaps for detecting unknown versions, though it also is not ideal. There are particular concerns which could happen and have to be tackled separately at the first stages of preparation and building your anti-ransomware software:

High hardware requirementsA behavior-based approach needs real-time system monitoring and evaluation, which usually proves very resource intensive. For a swift removal and to restrict the possible damage from ransomware almost as they can, it must be detected in time that is real. This might call for a sizable amount of SEO at all phases of the pipeline. A group of designers experienced with process management, system control, along with low-level programming is a necessity.

Creating a good baseline Behavior-based systems work by analyzing today’s stream of events and looking at it to a recognized baseline for regular system behavior. In case this particular baseline is selected incorrectly, it is able to result in a top amount of false negatives or false positives. The biggest obstacle in this regard is collecting the initial dataset.

Susceptibility to behavioral obfuscationBehavioral obfuscation, much like code obfuscation, is created to conceal the actions of malware by building a specific amount of behavioral noise, making the malware undetectable by behavior-based detection solutions.


Despite all the issues, a behavior-based approach to ransomware safety remains certainly the best regarding accuracy. This method lies at the center of next-generation antivirus software program and has proven itself being the most effective strategy on the market.

Nevertheless, creating such an answer requires developing an entire range of solutions for in-depth system monitoring and creating enhanced machine learning algorithms to enable real-time analysis and also detection of malicious software. Developing this particular system type requires commitment and an experienced and dedicated team.

About Adam Edmond
Adam Edmond has worked as a Security Specialist for 5 years. He is now based in the USA as a contractor and loves writing about Cyber Security and sharing his experiences.