Should I pay up if my computer is infected with ransomware?


A Fool and His Money. CarbonNYC

Should I pay up to get my files back if my computer is infected with ransomware such WannaCry - also known as "Wanna Decryptor" or "Wanna Crypt"?

It's best not to.

If you have recent backups of your data and have no critical files at risk then the safest thing to do is reformat your system and to reinstall Windows and restore your files from a backup (after ensuring your new Windows system is up to date with software patches and installing an AntiVirus package).

Some of the versions of malware have "backdoors" which can be used to disable them. Kaspersky and Trend Micro provide tools which can help you decrypt your data for free and protect your computer against future attack.

Those who have been subject to ransomware in the past and have paid up have reported mixed results. There have been high profile cases, with one hospital paying up to $17,000 where victims did report getting their data back after paying up.

However there is no guarantee you will get anything back and there is no way to hold the ransomers to account if they don't. By paying up you may also be encouraging more ransom attacks.

What is the 1922 Committee and why is it called that?

What is the Conservative party's 1922 committee, and how did it get its name?

What are rules for Tory leadership contests?

How does the Conservative party leadership election work, and what is the role of the 1922 committee?

What is a vassal state?

Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg warn that the UK would become a 'vassal state' under the Brexit deal supported by Theresa May.

What did John McEnroe say about Serena Williams?

What did former tennis player John McEnroe say about Serena Williams?

Why is Salvador Dali being exhumed?

Why are they digging up artist Salvador Dali's body?

What happened with the BBC News at Ten going off air?

What made the BBC News at Ten crash?

Why is Ed Miliband doing a radio show?

Why is the former Labour leader sitting in for Jeremy Vine?

Why is Daniel Day-Lewis retiring?

Why is three-times Oscar winner actor Daniel Day-Lewis retiring?