Much like a virus, or computer worm, ransomware allows unauthorized users to gain access to a computer by getting the user to open an infected email, install an infected program, or navigate to a website that has been compromised.
Once a computer is infected the users may see a barrage of indecent images, adverts, or bogus warnings. Ransomware can also restrict access to the computer that it infects, may simply lock the system and display messages telling the user that their machine is infected with a virus. True, yes, but the virus was likely written by the very same people demanding money for its removal.
After all the true purpose of ransomware is to persuade less savvy computer users to pay to have them removed. Some messages will have a link to a prize, an invoice, or package information.
One popular method of persuasion is to mimic an official warning from a government agency or police force. One popular group that criminals poses as is the IRS. “Criminals are constantly looking for new ways to trick you out of your personal financial information so be extremely cautious about opening strange emails,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS won’t send you an email about a tax bill or refund out of the blue. We urge taxpayers not to click on any unexpected emails claiming to be from the IRS.”
Ransomware scams can originate from many places in the world. Some news outlets have even discovered that these programs can fund groups such as criminal organizations, or terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIL.
These organizations don’t just come after people by sending emails, but by their phones as well. In some cases, people will call a user up and convince them that they are from Microsoft. The IRS recently reported that some criminal organizations will call users, pose as an agent, and aggressively attempt to scam taxpayers out of their money. This scam tries to convince you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.
As a cloud provider, IVR Technology believes that when it comes to our customers’ personal and payment information security is of the utmost priority. We’ve created solutions for our clients that make sure their sensitive and personal information don’t fall into the wrong hands.
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