Human collaboration is productive at times—and destructive at others. Without a doubt, Cerber ransomware falls into the second category.
In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that ransomware losses totaled $29.1 million, wreaking havoc on individuals and businesses alike.
Here, we’ll explain what cerber ransomware is, how it works, and—most importantly—how you can protect yourself from these cunning schemes. Let’s dive in.
What is Cerber ransomware?
Cerber ransomware was first produced in 2016, making it one of the oldest and most refined hacking tactics around.
This particular ransomware has a “ransomware-as-a-service” (RaaS) model. Malware developers sell their creations to hackers, who pay them commission for use. By offering their ransomware to others, developers can widely disseminate their creations and passively collect income from hackers’ hard work.
Of course, hackers aren’t known for being trustworthy. To ensure they receive their rightful commissions, developers have built-in encryptions that stop hackers from collecting profits until they pay up.
How does Cerber ransomware work?
The most common way Cerber ransomware spreads is via an infected attachment in a phishing email. When users open the attachment, Cerber is downloaded on their device. Cerber proceeds to make all of your device’s data inaccessible via encryption—and the only way to regain access to your files is to pay the ransom demand.
The ransomware also runs a unique visual basic script, which makes your computer communicate specific instructions. For instance, the instructions might state that users have seven days to pay up before the ransom is doubled. Ransom demands vary, but most are not lower than $500 (or a $500 equivalent in Bitcoin).
Though phishing emails are the predominant form of Cerber ransomware dissemination, downloads disguised as helpful programs are another form of transmission.
What happens after a Cerber ransomware attack?
After a successful Cerber ransomware attack, your device’s data will be inaccessible due to encryption. Some hackers will decrypt the stolen information once the ransom is paid—but many don’t. In fact, paying the ransom can make you a target for a future attack.
If you don’t pay the ransom or have copies of the stolen data, you could suffer a permanent loss. Your data may be sold on the dark web, black market, or used to create a fraudulent online profile.
If you’re a business owner, being a victim of a Cerber ransomware attack could force you to halt company operations, leading to a loss in revenue.
The bottom line? Ransomware can be devastating—and Cerber ransomware protection is essential.
What are some steps to Cerber ransomware protection?
Both individuals and businesses are targets of Cerber ransomware attacks.
The best way to avoid falling prey to this sophisticated malware is to be proactive. Back up your data to ensure that you have access to essential information at all times. If you’re a business owner, employee education is key. Teach your employees safe computer practices and warn them of common tactics employed by hackers.
Another form of Cerber ransomware protection to consider is preventive software that monitors your device for malware and defends against invasive threats.
Stay protected with SiteLock
Now that you know what Cerber ransomware is, want to learn more about defending against cybercriminals? Read “What Is Ransomware?” to discover how hackers hold sites hostage—and which four steps can help ensure yours isn’t one.