What is Ransomware and how do blockchain solutions protect against it?

Ransomware is malicious software used by hackers to hold hostage data. Learn more about how blockchain technology is poised to protect against it.

Ransomware is malicious software used by hackers to hold hostage files, data, or applications on a computer making them inaccessible to the owner. In order to regain access to the data, the owner must pay a ransom demand to the hackers.

Ransomware is a problem for consumers, governments, and businesses alike. It’s a growing threat that has inflicted significant damage and cost businesses and government organizations a ton of money.

Ransomware runs in the background and encrypts the files on a computer or server. It’s often designed to spread across a network and to target as many machines as possible. Hackers also create a cryptographic key that will unlock the data once the ransom is paid. Without this key, the data is inaccessible. 

How bad is the ransomware problem?

All totaled, ransomware attacks have cost victims billions of dollars. They can quickly spread across a network and paralyze an entire organization or expose massive amounts of private data.

In May 2021, one of the highest-profile ransomware cases drove the federal government to declare a national state of emergency. A group called Darkside infiltrated the cybersecurity defenses of the Colonial Pipeline Company, one of the largest refined oil pipelines in the U.S. 

According to an article titled “18 Examples of Ransomware Attacks,” the attackers nabbed nearly 100 gigabytes of data and interrupted Colonial Pipeline’s billing operations. The company suspended oil supplies while they assessed the damage. The news spread across the world quickly. Panic buying caused fuel shortages in parts of the southern U.S. It didn’t take long to decide that it was best to pay the $4.4 million ransom. 

Average folks are not immune to ransomware. In May 2017, ransomware called WannaCry infected over 230,000 computers worldwide. The attackers demanded payment in Bitcoin to unlock the files.

And no enterprise is too big for a malware attack. Semiconductor giant Nvidia was also hit with a ransomware attack in late February 2022 by a ransomware group called Lapus$. 

Also, the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE), an Italian public body responsible for safeguarding intellectual property rights lost over 60 GB of data to the Everest ransomware group.

Up until now, the only solution to preventing ransomware attacks was implementing superior cybersecurity practices. Cybersecurity can be complicated and expensive. And, as you can see, results are not guaranteed. While the world spends about $60 billion on cybersecurity, about $20 billion of that has gone down the drain. 

Spending on cybersecurity worldwide from 2017 to 2021 (COVID-19 adjusted)

How blockchain solves the malware problem

Blockchains are computer networks on which all data is decentralized. This means that the data doesn’t live on just one computer or server. Files are stored on every single computer node on the network. 

To corrupt data that’s distributed across a decentralized computer network, hackers would have to have access to the majority of computers on the network and be able to make the changes simultaneously on all of them — which, of course, is impossible. 

Blockchain data is immutable

Since no one has the power to corrupt data on a blockchain, the data is said to be immutable. Any files that have been encrypted and uploaded to the blockchain will remain on the blockchain forever.

It’s easy to see how governments and enterprises would benefit from the use of blockchain technology to avoid ransomware attacks and other cyber attacks. With immutable, incorruptible data storage, management would be able to sleep at night while saving money on cyber security services. 

SlikSafe offers immutable file storage

SlikSafe is a decentralized file storage application that offers the immutability and incorruptibility of decentralized networks. It also enables remote collaboration, file sharing, messaging — all with end-to-end encryption. 

Store your photos and videos, or your personal files and documents, SlikSafe is the simplest solution that is out there to secure your data forever. 

Login for free today and backup your files with a simple drag and drop, or as one might say — Drag and drop your worries away! 

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