Last year, WannaCry was active and the world had witnessed the severe Cyber attack. It affected 3000,000 plus computers across 150 countries around the world that damaged total of billions of dollars. This is a type of ransomware virus. There are several more ransomware viruses on the Internet are available. These viruses encrypt the stored files on the victims’ computer system and then demand Cryptocurrency, a type of virtual currency, to make use of them once again. Our main purpose by this article is to provide you few methods for how to recover data from ransomware attack so that you can retrieve your ransomware virus encrypted files for free. Before we start and outline the several methods, let’s know some more about the ransomware virus.
All you need to know about ransomware
Ransomware is a type of computer virus, a malicious program developed by cryptovirology for the monetary purpose. Some sources that could the malicious malware inside the PC are:
- Spam email attachments,
- Infected software programs
- Fake software updaters
- Untrustworthy programs downloading sources
Typically, Ransomware attack is of two types, simple and advanced. The former one refers to lockscreen attack. As the name suggest, in this attack the ransomware lock the computer system by changing the login credentials. On the other hand, the advanced attack is the data encryption. In this type of attack, the ransomware encrypts all the files and them inaccessible.
Immediately after completing the encryption process in whatever manner, the ransomware generates some ransom note. The ransom note appears on the Window screen as a pop-up or in a file format informs the victims about the attack and instruct them pay a ransom to regain access to its computer system in the simple attack or the files in the second case. These happening thereafter put the question on the victims mind how to recover data from ransomware attack.
Short note on how the ransomware work
The Cyber Criminals purchase some ransomware kits. They use the kits and a software tool to make a ransomware with more specific capabilities. They generate this ransomware for their own distribution. They use various methods to spread their threat. One of such method is spam email campaign. The spam emails are sending out on the Internet. These emails offer some MS documents, exe files, archives and so on containing some payload that make invasion of the ransomware at the end.
The ransomware works in stages after intrusion. These include the information gathering, Window registry keys settings changes, opening of backdoor for other malicious malware and security bypasses to prevent the antivirus program and other firewall security measures to execute the virus code. The ransomware does these activities one after other, however not in a sequence. After that accordingly, they scan for the files and encrypt them or lock the whole system. Keep reading and see the instruction how to recover data from ransomware attack.
To extort the ransom, the Cyber Criminals use different approaches. Some of these are:
- A pop-up message appears on the screen after the files become inaccessible that states that if the ransom payment is not being paid by some certain date, the key required for retrieving the files will be destroyed.
- A pop-up message could state that the victims’ computer has been found to be installed some unlicensed software or illegal software. The ransom fee is demanded as a fine.
- Next one seems like that, “The files stored on the system are encrypted. The Cyber criminals will provide you the decryptor to decrypt these files, purchase them”.
As you know, these are just a scam to trick you to pay the ransom fee. Thus, you should avoid paying the ransom fee. Typically, decryption of the files requires some unique decryption tool that only the developers know. At the same time, it is clear that these scammers will not going to provide the decryptor. Even though, you can retrieve the files after the ransom attack. Several methods are outlined below to provide you the details how to recover data from ransomware attack without paying ransom fee.
- Step 1:
Run an antivirus scan to the affected PC to remove any trace of the ransomware. Clear the browser cache and spam emails and put the Internet connectivity in the off mode. This will prevent the communication to the remote server.
- Step 2:
Install some security tool to detect different encrypted files. This will help you to create a list of data that are encrypted and of these which are those whose retrieval is important for you. You should do this method as soon as possible before the ransomware completely erase all the data.
- Step 3:
Restore your files on the system by using volume shadow copies. This will allow you to restore the previous file versions by clicking on a file and choosing the properties and then selecting the previous version tab. If the threat does not delete the shadow copies, by this, you will be able to restore all the encrypted files.
In many cases, ransomware deletes the Volume Shadow Copies as well. If yours is the same situation, you should definitely use some data recovery software. There are some vendors in the market who provide the data recovery software available with free demo version that makes you able to check and ensure whether the software is anyway useful for the data retrieval before purchasing the paid software.