CERT-In Cautions Against Akira Ransomware Virus Attack: How To Protect Your Systems (2023)

Latest information from the Country’s Cyber ​​Security Office, internet ransomware known as ‘Akira Ransomware Virus’ has been detected in cyberspace. The virus encrypts data and takes users’ sensitive personal information to request payment.

Akira Ransomware virus

What is Akira Ransomware virus?

  • One type of ransomware that targets computers is called Akira.
  • Its main purpose is to encrypt data on the infected device so that it cannot be accessed by the user.
  • Akira changes the filenames by adding the “.Akira” extension to the encrypted files after the content is encrypted.
  • After completion, the malware goes one step further and deletes the “Shadow Copy of Windows” on the target device. Users can restore data to previous versions using this backup on Windows. If these copies are deleted, victims will have a hard time recovering their data.
  • Double extortion, a tactic used by Akira, has become increasingly popular in the ransomware scene. In this way, the attacker steals virus-sensitive information as well as encrypting the victim’s information.
  • Attackers threatened to publish stolen data on the darknet if the victim did not pay the ransom.
  • The risk of revealing stolen information increases the pressure on victims to pay the ransom.

How Does Akira virus Affect Software?

Delivery methods:

  • Akira ransomware can enter the computer in various ways, such as:
  • Malicious email messages or attachments.
  • Pirate software sites.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks.
  • Free data hosting sites.
  • Third party downloader.

Released:

  • Cybercriminals can use Trojans and fake software updates to spread Akira ransomware to innocent users.
  • A user accidentally downloads and plays an infected file, and the Akira ransomware attack begins.

File Encryption

  • Files in various hard disk folders on the victim’s computer are encrypted by Akira ransomware.
  • Encryption makes data inaccessible to the user without the decryption key.
  • Encryption of some system files seems to be restricted to keep the operating system running:
  • Names not included.

Loss of exe, .dll, .msi, .lnk. sys file extension

Excludes the System Folders, System Volume Information, Recycle Bin, and Program Data directories in Windows.

Horizontal Movement:

  • Akira ransomware can only be moved to other computers on the network after infecting one computer.
  • This external migration is designed to spread the virus to workstations and servers connected to the same network.

Identity Theft

  • The virus attempts to obtain the credentials of a Windows domain administrator to increase network privileges.
  • Akira ransomware can spread across the network by ingesting administrative credentials, increasing its resources and impact.

How Do You Protect Yourself From Ransomware?

Purpose of CERT-In:

  • The main department dealing with the cyber security situation in India is called CERT-In.
  • Collects, analyzes and publishes information about cyber security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • The organization provides warnings and recommendations at appropriate times to prevent or mitigate cyber attacks.
  • To respond effectively to cyber incidents, CERT-In collaborates with a variety of stakeholders worldwide, including government agencies, businesses and CERTs.
  • Facilitates incident management, response and recovery in cybersecurity emergencies.
  • Companies will conduct research and development to improve overall cyber resilience in India.

Beware of email attachments and links:

  • Bad email addresses and URLs are a way to spread ransomware.
  • Do not click on links or attachments from senders you are not sure about.
  • When receiving a spam e-mail, double-check the sender’s credibility and be careful.
  • Download only from trusted sources:
  • Only download software and files from trusted websites and authorized stores.
  • Do not download software from suspicious websites or click on advertisements.

Update the software regularly:

  • Update the operating system, software and antivirus software regularly.
  • Updates often contain security patches that remove vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong passwords:
  • Include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols in password management rules.
  • For an added level of protection, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible.
  • At login, MFA requires the user to submit additional credentials, such as a one-time number.

Back up important files:

  • Save important files regularly to another drive or secure cloud storage.
  • To prevent ransomware from encrypting backups during an attack, keep them offline.
  • Make sure your backups are up to date to minimize data loss during a ransomware attack.

Conclusion

The ‘Akira‘ ransomware attack poses a significant threat to businesses and individuals, potentially causing severe data and financial losses. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures and adopting a proactive approach, you can better protect your systems from such malicious attacks.

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FAQ: About Akira Ransomware

What makes Akira ransomware different from other forms of malware?

Akira ransomware’s distinguishing feature is its ability to encrypt files and demand a ransom for decryption.

Should victims pay the ransom to recover their data?

Paying the ransom is discouraged as it encourages cybercriminals and there is no guarantee that they will provide the decryption key.

Can small businesses be targeted by Akira ransomware?

Yes, small businesses are often targeted because they may have weaker cybersecurity measures.

Is it possible to decrypt Akira ransomware without paying the ransom?

In some cases, security experts may develop decryption tools, but it’s not guaranteed to work for all versions of the ransomware.

How can individuals contribute to preventing ransomware attacks?

Individuals can contribute by staying informed about cybersecurity best practices, using strong passwords, and being cautious with email attachments and links.

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