Ransomeware attacks

(Official) Enabling These Windows Feature Protects Against Ransomware Attacks 

This post guides you on how to protect Windows OS against Ransomeware attacks.

 

​Few months back, Microsoft’s users were attacked globally within a time frame of 2 months by two major ransomware attacks i.e WannaCry and Petya which destabilize key government organizations, hospitals, shipping, airports companies, ATMs forcing them to shut down.

Since ransomeware attacks computers running on Windows OS, fingers have since been pointing to Microsoft for not putting proper measures in place to prevent these attacks which encrypt computer files then demand a huge ransome of around $300 USD in Bitcoin before user can regain access to its files (under probability).

Microsoft, having seen the vulnerability in their OS have decided to take the bull by the horn this time by introducing anti-ransomeware feature in latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (16232)along several other security features.

Microsoft is planning to introduce these security features in Windows 10 Creator Update (also known as RedStone 3), which is expected to release sometime between September and October 2017.

The anti-ransomware feature, dubbedControlled Folder Access, is part of Windows Defender that blocks unauthorized applications from making any modifications to your important files located in certain “protected” folders.

Applications on a whitelist can only access Protected folders. So you can add or remove the apps from the list. Certain applications will be whitelisted automatically, though the company doesn’t specify which applications.

Once turned on, “Controlled folder access” will watch over files stored inside Protected folders and any attempt to access or modify a protected file by non-whitelisted apps will be blocked by Windows Defender, preventing most ransomware to encrypt your important files.

So, whenever an application tries to make changes to Protected files but is blacklisted by the feature, you will get a notification about the attempt.

See below steps on how to enable the Controlled folder access feature


How to Enable Controlled Folder Access, Whitelist Apps and Add or Remove Protected Folders


— Go to Start menu

— Open the Windows Defender Security Center

— Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

— Set the switch to On




How To Allow Trusted Apps Blocked By The Controlled Folder Access Feature To Access Protected Folders:

— Go to Start menu

— Open the Windows Defender Security Center

— Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

— Click ‘Allow an app through Controlled folder access’ in the Controlled folder access area — Click ‘Add an allowed app’ and select the app you want to allow

— Windows library folders like Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop are designated as being compulsorily “protected” by default, which can not be removed.

 

 

However, users can add or remove their personal folders to the list of protected folders.

How To Add Folders To “Protected Folders List”

— Go to Start menu

— Open the Windows Defender Security Center

— Go to the Virus & Threat Protection settings section

— Click ‘Protected folders’ in the Controlled folder access area

— Enter the full path of the folder you want to monitor

Users can also enter network shares and mapped drives, but environment variables and wildcards are not supported at this moment.

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