SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A recent report from a team of U.S. cybersecurity experts says 2016 will be the year ransomware holds America hostage.
That’s a scary prediction. Ransomware has been around for decades, and whether this is fact or hyperbole, there has definitely been a recent spike in attacks. And it’s not just data at big companies being taken hostage. Individuals are getting hit more and more. Hackers usually demand about $500 or less, but ransoms can go much higher, even into the thousands of dollars, in some cases. Last year the FBI estimated ransonware hackers extorted more than $24 million — and got away with it.
Basically, there are two types of ransomware: Locker ransomware locks your computer but leaves the files intact; Crypto ransomware encrypts data and filesystems on your computer making them impossible to access, although you can still use the computer.
Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn to spot ransomware and protect your computer before you become a victim. Here are a few tips to help keep you from getting taken hostage.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.