Using this approach, Eilat says that with RansomFree enabled about four files can end up encrypted before the security program detects the problem and stops it; however, he says, for most ransomware strains “RansomFree manages to stop the ransomware even before any file is encrypted.”
RansomFree is a free download for home users directly from Cybereason’s site. The installation's fairly anti-climactic. It alerts you that the program placed some specially constructed files on your system that help RansomFree do its job. Eilat wouldn’t go into too much detail about what these files do. He would say they were there to be the “victims” of potential ransomware infections and to slow the malware down.
Other than the alert about the files, RansomFree just sits there not doing much of anything—at least to the casual observer. That’s probably what you want from a specialized security program like this, anyway.
The impact on you at home: Using a security program that protects against ransomware is only the first step to keeping your files safe. Cybereason also recommends that users regularly backup their files and verify that those backups can be restored should the worst happen. The usual security advice also applies: keep your operating system and programs up-to-date; disable Java and Flash when possible; don’t download programs or files from sketchy websites; and be doubly cautious downloading attachments or clicking links in email.
This article was updated at 12:50 PM Eastern on December 19, 2016 to correct the name of Cybereason's RansomFree. We regret the error.
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