Detecting Ransomware 

There are two ways to detect ransomware: 

  1. prior to executing the malware and 
  2. after executing the malware. The best way of detecting it before it’s executed is through antivirus. Make sure you run antivirus on all devices frequently. The other way is when it’s been executed and a demand is made. 


Preventing Ransomware
  • Ensure you back-up all of your data.
  • Run anti-virus frequently and make sure it’s the most recent version – millions of viruses are created each year so your anti-virus needs to keep up with these.
  • Turn off your cloud storage when you are not using it (like Google, DropBox, OneDrive etc).
  • Keep your operating system and apps/ software updated.
  • Consider blocking ads and pop-ups, and think twice before downloading freeware (free downloads) without checking their security first!
  • Become familiar with how to spot phishing emails and never provide remote access to your device when someone calls or emails you first.

Responding to Ransomware

There are hundreds of ransomware types, but unfortunately most cannot be decrypted. Ransomware encrypts and the criminals using it have the tools to decrypt. Before you think about paying, you may want to try the following:

  • EUROPOL and a number of software security vendors have launched a free decryption check called CRYPTO SHERIFF that can be accessed at.
  • Decryption services – these are by no means a guaranteed result and most cost money.
  • Assess what’s at risk and would be lost. If there’s too much at stake you may have to consider paying but be careful, you’re dealing with criminals.

Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:

IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. We are a not-for-profit charity.

  • The Services provide do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult a solicitor in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this product or service, to the maximum extent permitted by law all conditions, terms, representations, and warranties (in each case, whether express or implied) in connection with the provision of the Services which might otherwise be binding upon IDCARE are excluded.
  • IDCARE’S liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person or organisation (including, without limitation, any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with the Services (including without limitation liability for any negligent act or omission, or statement, representation or misrepresentation of any officers, employees, agents, contractors or consultants of IDCARE) shall be limited to the fees paid by you to IDCARE in respect of the Services. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability extends to any liability arising from any actions performed or not performed as a result of any recommendations made in course of providing the Services.
  • The Services provided by IDCARE are intended to be provided solely to the initial recipient of this document or service and IDCARE will not be liable to any other person who may receive this document.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this alert, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the alert or any accompanying data provided. Wider dissemination may be permitted by authority in writing from IDCARE’s Managing Director. If you would like to provide feedback please use our Feedback Form.

Other fact sheets

Our Fact Sheets offer important information on how to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to Identity theft and other cyber related issues.
Physical Theft of Credentials

Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves the theft of someone’s personal information.

view fact sheet
Credit Reporting Agencies

A credit reporting agency is a private company that collects data and maintains historical information.

view fact sheet
Understanding Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware (a virus) that encrypts files.

view fact sheet

Success Stories!


IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Counsellors to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   
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