How to defend against Ransomware

May 26, 2017


This style of attack isn't going away anytime soon. There is a long history of criminals gaining profit from encrypting individual hosts and holding them for ransom. While the large companies have been talked about in the news in respect to how to defend, it is the home user that I'd like to address here.

There are several things that you should be doing:

  1. Ensure your systems are patched.
  2. Backup your data.
    • I use a paid program called Arq5. This works on Windows and MacOS but is a program that's not free. However, I feel it's worth it. It produces incremental encrypted backups of folders that you pick to a selection of destinations (Google Drive, AWS, SSH destination, etc). I have my backups going to my Google Drive.
  3. Perform a full disk backup.
    • I use AOMEI Backupper Standard for Windows (free). It's fast... Only takes about 6 minutes to backup or restore my system.
    • For my MacOS machines, I use Carbon Copy Cloner (not free but worth it). It even backs up the MacOS restore partition.

Now, if you get hit by a nasty bug that encrypts all of your files, just restore your computer and retrieve the latest backups of your files.