RansomFree by Cybereason is a free ransomware alert tool for Windows PCs

russian hackers
Boston-based cybersecurity company Cybereason has released a real-time ransomware detection and response program called RansomFree for consumers. The free software for Windows 7 to 10, the company claims, can spot most strains of ransomware before it starts encrypting files, alerting the user to take action.

RansomFree uses “behavioral and proprietary deception techniques” to detect ransomware strains in action. Users receive a pop-up notification when ransomware has been found on their computer and is trying to encrypt files. The user can then decide to take action.

ransomfree

“When ransomware is detected, RansomFree presents the user with a list of any files that may have been encrypted,” said Uri Sternfield, senior security researcher.

“RansomFree relies on the common denominator of all ransomware, no matter their distribution or method of operation — they all need to search for target files on the local drives and encrypt them. By anticipating these common patterns, RansomFree can bait ransomware to expose their intentions and accurately detect them before they are able to fully achieve their malicious goal.”

According to Uri, the software can detect 99 percent of all ransomware. However, ransomware is ever evolving, with new tricks to avoid detection and decryption. Sternfield added that RansomFree will be updated daily in an attempt to stay ahead in this arms race.

Despite its best efforts, Cybereason still recommends taking your computer to a professional after RansomFree has tried to clean things up to ensure no malware is still lingering.

“Pervasive ransomware variants have outsmarted traditional endpoint defenses, such as antivirus software, leaving individuals exposed to the real dangers of cybercrime,” said Sternfield.

2016 has been a bumper year for ransomware, with several infamous cases of businesses and individuals being forced to hand over thousands of dollars in bitcoin to get their encrypted files back. Research from IBM this month showed that 70 percent of infected businesses coughed up the money while Carbon Black, in its year-end report, said that ransomware was by far the fastest-growing malware in all industries.

As a result, several cybersecurity companies have been racing to release decryption tools for consumers. In July EU law enforcement agency Europol launched No More Ransom, a multilingual collaborative project with security firms that makes decryption tools freely available to consumers. Just last week, Bitdefender joined the project alongside Intel and Kaspersky Lab.

Computing

Pay-n-pray cybersecurity isn’t working. What if we just paid when it works?

Companies and individuals sink loads of money into cybersecurity each year, and yet with each passing month, the situation seems to worsen. Area 1 Security has a new philosophy -- and it could totally change the game.
Computing

Millions of health records may be at stake in ransomware attack

LabCorps revealed that it was a victim of a data breach, and the FBI confirmed it was notified of a ransomware attack. With millions of health records at stake, it's still unclear what information, if any, the attackers accessed.
Mobile

Some Samsung phones aren’t alerting users of app background processes

Worried that Facebook is spying on you? Some Samsung phones aren't correctly showing some apps on the App Permission Monitor, so users won't be alerted if an app tries to access certain permissions.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

How to improve your Android privacy

If you have an Android device and you’re concerned about your privacy, then we have a few tips for you. Learn about the settings you can change to improve your Android privacy and safeguard your personal data.
Home Theater

The 7 best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Laptop screen extenders and self-healing tents

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

What is Android? All your questions about the operating system answered

Despite being on more than 2 billion phones, it's still possible to be unsure about parts of Android. What is stock Android, what's Oreo, and should you know about Android Go? We've got your answers.
Mobile

Apple's third iOS 12 beta may help you save a lot of data

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Photography

Here are the best Amazon Prime Day photography deals (updated)

Amazon's biggest shopping day of the year is here, and if photography is your hobby, there are a few deals for you. From action cameras to accessories and photo-editing software, here are some of our favorite Prime Deals in 2018.
Computing

Chrome is still our favorite browser (but Firefox is catching up!)

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options you have out there. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most…
Computing

The best Windows apps

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks!
Computing

Facebook suspends data firm claiming access to 1 trillion conversations

Facebook and Instagram are suspending Crimson Hexagon's access to its data pending a full investigation. Facebook found no wrongdoing, but wants to know if the firm used social network data to help with government surveillance programs.
Cars

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Whistler.
Mobile

Here’s how to unlock your phone automatically with Android Smart Lock

Tired of unlocking your smartphone with a PIN or passcode? Android Smart Lock unlocks it automatically using your location, face, and more. Here's how to set it up, and everything you need to know about it.
Computing

Here are 5 free alternatives to Photoshop for all your photo-editing needs

Photoshop is a capable program, but it's also expensive. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great alternatives out there that allow for a range of versatility, without requiring you to break into your bank account.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. If you're looking for the absolute highest-end in image quality, these are the best HDR monitors you can buy…
Computing

The ZenBook S is one of Asus' best laptops, but does it beat the Dell XPS 13?

We pit the Asus ZenBook S against the Dell XPS 13 to see which of these thin and light Windows notebooks offer the best combination of performance, battery life, and build quality. Does the XPS 13 still hold the crown for best laptop?
Computing

Turn your Surface Pro into a cheap Surface Studio with Kensington’s dock

Want a Surface Studio but don’t want to pay the premium price? Kensington has a new docking station built for the cheaper Surface Pro that essentially holds Microsoft’s detachable in an all-in-one-PC-style configuration.
Computing

AMD’s Ryzen desktop CPUs for 2019 may double the core count

Although we’re waiting for AMD to release new low-end second-generation Ryzen CPUs, AMD appears to be betting big on 2019. If current rumors are true, Ryzen 3 mainstream desktop CPUs will sport up to 16 cores using its Zen 2 design.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Gaming

Want to play Minecraft with friends? Here's how to start your own server

Whether you're hosting a server for a few friends or launching a massive effort to recreate your favorite show's world, you've got options for hosting your own Minecraft Server.
Computing

Microsoft stops a Russian attempt at hacking 2018 midterm elections

Microsoft discovered that the Russian GRU military intelligence agency attempted to hack the 2018 U.S. midterm elections using similar phishing tactics previously employed to hack the 2016 presidential election.