Ransomware infection could be quite a difficult situation to deal with. There are various things that you should do and not do after a ransomware attack. But there is one thing that you must never do. You should not pay money to ransomware attackers.
Everyone agrees with this fact. At last, until they become a ransomware victim themselves. Most people often preach not to compromise with hackers and do not pay money, but as soon as they get infected by ransomware they start thinking about paying.
But it’s quite important that you do not pay money to ransomware attackers. Under no circumstances, you should compromise yourself and pay any extortion fees.
Why Not Pay Money To Ransomware Attackers:
There are many reasons why you should avoid paying the ransom. There is no debate in this, you simply cannot trust attackers to give you access to your files back after getting paid. Let’s see some of the most important reasons why you should not pay ransom money.
It’s not ethical
Paying ransom money is not ethical. If you pay an extortion fee then it will only boost the intention of hackers to target more victims. By paying money to hackers, you are only encouraging them to carry on their attack. Due to this, many other people who cannot pay money get suffered. Not everyone has lots of money to pay off cybercrooks and buy decryption software. So it is completely unethical to support a form of crime that is harassing innocent people.
It might be a ruse
There are many newbie hackers who want to create powerful malware that can encrypt files on victims’ computers and force them into submission. But it is not very easy to create such powerful ransom malware. So most of the time, hackers use low-level threats, password lock files, and send bogus ransom notes threatening to delete their files if they don’t pay. This kind of trick really works, but if you stop paying, you might be able to face the reality that there could be other methods to recover files.
Hackers will demand more money
If once you pay ransom money to hackers, then it is very much possible that they will demand more money. Recently we have seen that hackers create several different versions of the same malware. They release regular variants with different extensions to attack their victims again and again. People think their system got infected by other malware and they end up paying once again. Dharma, Phobos, STOP/Djvu, Scarab are some of the ransomware that has multiple versions. They even re-encrypt the same computer if victims don’t pay.
It is possible that your computer gets hit by two different ransomware strains or completely two different malware. In this case, dual or even triple encryption of your files is possible. So you cannot pay all of them to decrypt your files. Ransomware infections are able to encrypt previously encrypted files. It is not wise to pay ransom money every time a virus encrypts your files.
No guaranteed Decryption
There is no guarantee that you will get your files back even after paying the ransom money. Obviously, all the ransomware infection claim guaranteed decryption, and they might also offer free decryption of 1 file as proof. It certainly does not mean that ransomware attackers will give you decryption software after getting the money. Most of the victims claim that hackers close all communication after getting money. So it is not wise to fall for this trick, they might not give you the decryptor after getting paid.
Decryptor is not standard
As all the ransomware make their own decryptor. It is hard to say that the decryptor they are promising to give will even work. There is only a handful of Ransomware families that decode their own encrypted files. So it is not sure that after paying the money, the decryptor you will get will even decode your files. It is also possible that decryption software is a virus itself and it may bring other threats to your system. It has been seen recently that ransomware infection drop data-stealing Trojan on infected PC through decryptor.
Other Threats are around
There is not only one ransomware in action here. It is possible that you somehow get your files back after paying the money, and some other virus encrypts your files again. Then what will you do? Will you pay again? It is not the way to fight against malware. There are many threats around and they are always looking to make illegal profits by cheating innocent users. If you once pay, then you will have to pay again sooner or later.
It is not safe
Once your computer is infected, there is no way of telling how much harm it has done to your system. If ransomware has encrypted your files, and somehow you recover them by paying, traces of malware will still remain on your system. Other versions of the same malware can easily get dropped on your computer using those leftover files.
Above all, ransomware infection might also collect your banking and other personal details. So it is not safe to leave any ransomware related files on the targeted PC. You must clean your system thoroughly when any ransomware infection attacks your computer.
These are the eight most important reasons why you should not pay money to ransomware attackers.
You must be thinking about what you should do when your computer gets infected by a ransomware virus?
What to do after a ransomware attack?
First, you will need to identify the malware. If you know what is the malware and which family it belongs to, then you can decide your next move.
To identify the version of the malware, you need to upload a sample of encrypted files or the ransom note on ID Ransomware portal. It is a website dedicated to identifying the version and family of ransomware.
Once you know about the virus, you can search No More Ransom websites for available decryptors. If there are any free decryptors available, you can find them there.
You should remove the ransomware before the decryption process or it will keep encrypting your files. Use a powerful Malware Removal software to get rid of the virus completely from your system.
If there is no decryptor available for the ransomware variant you are looking for, then you still need to remove the virus first. After that, you can recover your files using BACKUP. If you don’t have any backup, then create a backup of encrypted data on any external hard drive or cloud drive.
After removing the virus, you can start using your system and wait for any free decryptor to be released. You can also try to recover your files using Data recovery software. It is also a very effective method of ransomware data recovery. It has already helped many victims to recover most of their files if not all. But do not try to restore your files without removing ransomware otherwise it will keep encrypting your files.