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When your computer life is held for ransom

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Imagine if everything on your computer was “kidnapped” — including all of your precious family photos and important personal documents. And the only way you could access any of it again was if you paid a lot of money — or bitcoins — to a hacker. Even if you pay, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your stuff back.

Sounds like something out of a movie, right? Unfortunately, it’s happening in real life. It’s called ransomware. You might’ve heard news stories about ransomware attacks on hospitals, universities, and other large organizations, too.

Hackers do it by encrypting files on your computer — and files you’ve saved to connected hard drives or any shared folders. Once the files are encrypted you won’t be able to open them without the encryption key — which you can get only if you pay the amount hackers demand. That could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

It’s a serious problem. That’s why the FTC is holding a ransomware event on September 7 in Washington, DC. We’ll talk with security experts, law enforcers, and others about what steps people and businesses can take to protect their computers — and what to do if you’re a victim.

Check out the event details — it’s free and open to the public. Or tune in to the webcast — we’ll post the link here a few minutes before the event starts. In the meantime, check out this video on protecting your computer from malware:



Hi, Your information about 'computer life held for ransom' was very interested!! Thanks. Enrique

Don't open Port 113 on your router. Buy an external drive, and do a disk image of your entire PC at least once a month. Save daily your most important files on several thumb thumb drives. Remove these off your PC. The best defense is redundancy.

There are several sites which will decrypt ransomware for free. Perhaps you should mention those.

What is boils down to is having your data, pictures, etc. backed up in the Cloud. If your computer is then held for ransom, you can reload your operating system and restore your files.

Stupid question here: How does Cloud keep hackers away?

It doesn't. That prior comment is bad advice. I know. Unfortunately.

Good article. Thank you for posting.

My workstation was hacked in October 2015. I paid the ransom via bit coin my IT guy was sent the decryption code to get all my data back. It was discovered on a Monday, they gave us until Thursday to pay $753 otherwise it would double after Thursday. I made a series of phone calls upon our IT Company making the discovery of the encryption of my data and even spoke with a representative from the FBI. Of course, the FBI representative had warned me to not pay the ransom but I was too scared to not have my data back. In the end it was fine however we have put in some more safety precautions within our server so this will not happen again.

What does this mean, "In the end it was fine". You found a decryption source? You paid the bad guys? To this day I'm seeking a Kepto decryption source. My client needs help. Ransomware creators should have their brains wiped of all skills as punishment.

Thank you. Very helpful

Be careful: you think after paying the ransom you are ok but they are really just letting you think they are done. Instead, they are watching everything you type and are stealing your bank account and passwords.

Thanks for the article. I like to add, if your computer is hacked with ramsomeware, make sure to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

The group is part of the FBI.

Bert timely. Thank you. I'll be watching for the web cast.

I would like to see this activity ended so our lives can continue without the cyber-hijacking. I was taken hostage on Sep 2/16 at 5:00pm by a Norton Security alter. After calling the number to unlock my computer, the "Kevin Moss", fake name, wanted remote access to my system. He didn't get it. The offending file appears to be Project1. My virus checker did not detect this file.The Computer is now turn off and we don't use it until we can determine a fix.
I told him to call me at work on Wed. and gave him Homeland's 800 number to reach me.

What site do I go on to download the software n framewear

Are you aware that the sentencing guidelines for a driver who has been convicted of a DUI resulting in an injury accident can be considerably more severe than a conviction for an assault with a deadly weapon? Even though the Vehicular Assault charge is usually an unintentional accident with no malice aforethought,(albeit careless and irresponsible.) while the knife attack is a purposeful intent to do bodily harm? Why is that? I'll tell you. MADD and other powerful activist groups have, and continue to, place tremendous pressure on legislators to push through extremely severe penalties in both jail time and fines as deterrents for drinking and driving...a subject that has, sadly, affected so many people. While most people could care less about a bunch of gang rivals carving each other up with Rambo knives. Brutal truth but there you have it.
Now, how does this relate to internet crime, phone scams, email fraud etc? The penalties for these crimes are puny compared to the millions of dollars stolen by these thieves, and, by & large, until and unless it happens to YOU, chances are you're not going to expend much energy fighting it. Technology for combatting this type of crime will not outstrip the technology that scammers produce to be always a step ahead. We have got to make the punishment for committing these crimes so severe that perpetrators cannot survive the experience of being convicted. I looked on the web for a group like MADD, only concerned with these crimes and didn't find any. If there is one, we should all be avid supporters. The internet is an awesome, wonderful thing. It's a tragedy that we feel so unsafe using it that we have to hold back from the potential it represents.

So my mobile and devices have been hacked I always use Google and failed to notice my search kept saying yahoo when I tried to switch back it was unhiglighted it wasn't an option I then checked my privacy settings to see that for every time I changed my password moments later it was duplicated in London I'm in Nottingham .

I belive someone has remote access as they have duplicated my email and I've had some response that's literally from myself I found history with many many hack tools inside was extremely interesting it's all stemmed from a instagram request from a good plastic surgeon however his Web mail was dark network .. this person has invaded my privacy and took control of who I call don't call they have unencrypted many files okay all and I try to call out if it's the fraud department etc they revert me to themselves they have managed to turn my anti virus of and I cannot factory reset my phone as it isn't highlighted .

When I email anywhere of help in help centres help with fraud it starts my styling going stupid no one seems to be able to help and my background ddata is ridiculous like 10 x over and I have unlimited Simonbradshaw  now with a ridiculous bill I turn background data of it switches back on HELP SOMEONE PLZ

Please check your Google payments, wallet, and playstore account. I'm a victim of financial fraud. I've lost everything and it's still going on. I have 8 complaints at consumer protection! Google deleted 4000 in charges they billed my unemployment for and bank of America allowed it. Please I have been an am being put through living hell! Protect yourselves lord knows the 18 flags for fraud without contact to tge account holder should of but didnt!

One of the new numbers for calling to "release" your computer is 855-731-4577

I just wanted to thank you all for of the best websites, advise, ect. that I am able to learn and teach to my children, husband and even learn MORE about how I can protect us in ways I didn't even knew were available to us. THANK YOU All!!

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