That sinking stomach feeling when you see your computer has been hacked and your files (precious memories – first baby pictures, unpublished novels, or simply an entire day’s work) are “lost” unless you pay a ransom. While we layout many preventative activities, there are but a few courses of action after the fact. Here are some options to consider:
- nomoreransom.org, a site backed by security firms and cybersecurity organizations in 22 countries
- their, Crypto Sheriff page, has invaluable tips on how to unlock files for free
- Pay the man, unfortunately in the end … you may just need to spend $300-$600 per computer to unlock the files
- prior to paying, be sure others who have paid received the unlock codes. Also as some of these ransomware events happen security professionals can take it over, and then issue a free unlock.
This specifically deals with the WanaCrypt ransomware strain that infected tens of thousands of Windows computers (unpatched and out of date Microsoft systems, in May of 2017) is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and blocks access to data until a ransom is paid, displaying a message demanding payment to unlock it at the risk of losing all files.