If you're thankful you didn't get hit with ransomware last week, don't hold your breath. The FBI says ransomware attacks are expected to double this year because they're easy for bad guys to use and generally will make thousands of dollars from ransoms paid by computer users who are hit by the malware.
Ransomware is a nasty program that most virus and malware protection software will not stop. It hits suddenly and without warning. Users don't know anything has happened until they see the full-screen ransom note that fills their monitor.
While there are few solutions, an Israeli company has developed a software program that claims to have stopped 99% of ransomware attacks.
Cybereason was developed for companies and small businesses.
"What we're looking at is not what the ransomware is or what that hash is or code is; we're looking at what it's doing," said Cybereason's Jessica Stanford.
"As soon as we detect any behaviors that indicate something is ransomware we're stopping it automatically before it can encrypt any of those files on the machine."
Late last year Cybereason released RansomFree for individual computer users. It is a free program that runs in the background looking for any code that may be installing on the machine.
Once it is detected the computer user will see a full screen message notifying them of the attack then Cybereason removes the code before it executes and sends a report back to the company. This assists Cybereason in learning what code hackers are using.
"In just the last few months we've prevented over 120 ransomware attacks," says Stanford.
"One of our goals here at Cybereason is to make life more difficult for the bad guys."
Cybereason's RansomFree can be found for a free download at www.cybereason.com