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This week, we’re focused on the dreaded “R” word – ransomware! It’s as scary as it sounds and it can make even the most hardened IT professional shake in their boots.

Ransomware is best described as a type of software – or malware – designed to lock you out of important files on your computer and essentially holding them hostage, thus the demand for a “ransom” payment. The mindset of a cybercriminal utilizing ransomware is to put in an organization in a compromising position where paying the ransom is the easiest and cheapest way to regain access to their files.

In today’s video module, our co-hosts roleplay a social engineering attack using pretexting, which is a form of social engineering where the attacker lies to obtain restricted information – think of those emails you get from time to time pretending to be your supervisor asking you to perform a “task.” We’ll learn:

  • How bad actors can compromise an organization’s network by pretending to be a member of the tech support team
  • Why the software details of their work computers should be kept private
  • Warning signs that someone may be trying to glean information about your organization’s network or computers
Tech Support Social Engineering

Test your knowledge

The best way to understand how ransomware works and how to avoid falling victim to shifty cybercriminals is to practice scenarios like the one you just watched. Check out this five-minute micro-module that will take you through the basics of ransomware, the different methods used to infect a machine, and how hackers trick unsuspecting users into downloading infected files. You’ll also learn:

  • How unexpectedly ransomware can show up
  • The typical ransomware extortion process
  • Tactics cybercriminals use to get ransomware on networks
  • What to watch out for

Pay attention, because there’s a quiz at the end ❗

Introduction to Ransomware