Ransomware is a growing vector of attack in recent times and very few are truly safe from it and the potential loss of their personal data. Now antivirus firm Bitdefender have published a free tool that is capable of preventing computers from being infected by some of the most common strains of ransomware including Locky, TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker.
The Crypto-Ransomware Vaccine works a lot like a biological vaccine of sorts against these types of ransomware, similar to a previous Bitdefender tool that was designed to stop CryptoWall infection. That tool may have been rendered useless by changes to CryptoWall, but the principle of how it works remains effective for other types of ransomware. It works by tricking the ransomware into believing that the system it is targeting has already been infected by the same strain and in order to avoid nested encryption on a single system, many ransomware authors engineer their software to ignore already infected machines.
Of course, it is always best to avoid ransomware in the first place than rely on this tool, and as such it is recommended that users also ensure that their operating system, browsers and other software such as flash player, which is notorious for its vulnerabilities are kept up to date. The tool may be very effectual at defending against a specific set of ransomware, but it is a complimentary measure to users not running a full security suite or wishing to ensure defense from malware as part of it.