There is good news for anyone who imagines that ransomware heralds the end of civilisation as we know it. (White) Hats off to Italian researcher Andrea Continelli and his team who have devised a means of automatically spotting ransomware before it can run amok.
The new system, which goes by the name of ShieldFS, is designed specifically to deal with ransomware by ensuring early identification of anything resembling ransomware encryption, effectively nipping it in the bud. ShieldFS was unveiled at this year’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, demonstrating amongst other things, how it would deal with the notorious WannaCry attack.
While this looks like a godsend, it must be added that ShieldFS can only tackle traditional ransomware that encrypts files individually, rather than the strain that locks users out of their systems and charges them to be reinstated – such as (Not)Petya. The team aim to crack this problem in time, hopefully rendering ransomware nonviable across the board. At present, ShieldFS is still only a research product, a prototype of sorts, and contains some anti-virus vulnerabilities – so we’re not quite out of the woods yet.