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Like some story in a television show, Ransomware has begun to affect online shops. Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that causes the loss of control of all aspects of a computer. Unless a clean backup is available, the only way to recover from it is to pay the ransom to the company that created it. This is typically a site in Russia but there are others jumping on the bandwagon. The reason is because it is big business. It has been estimated that the amount of money paid to get out of being held ransom for 2015 will be close to $100 million.

The number of sites infected by Ransomware increases each year. Ransomware first started to show up around 2010 though it was first thought up years before that. The number of attacks since then has roughly doubled each year. According to an April 2015 report by Symantec, which produces antivirus software, there were 4.1 million attacks in 2013 and 8.8 million in 2014.

It seemed that, until now, the Ransomware attacks just went after larger businesses. But that has changed. In this article, Ransomware Now Gunning For Your Web Sites/, there is a description of a Magneto shop that got infected with ransomware. Since the shop was not protected with backups, it was easier for the shop owner to pay the ransom. That seems to be the most common reason for paying it.

But there are things you can do to not have this happen to you. First, and most importantly, is to make sure you have a clean backup of your shop and database. If you have this, you can always restore the shop and that will get rid of the ransomware. Next, we suggest you have our Site Monitor addon installed. This will show you what the hacker did to your shops files, which may allow you to identify how the attacker got in. This is important because even though the shop is restored, if the security hole that was used to get in in the first place is still there, they will just come back again.

This article was published on Friday 13 November, 2015.
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