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How to Secure Your Digital Life

Lesson 13 of 18

Defense Against the Rising Ransomware Threat

Marc Goodman

How to Secure Your Digital Life

Marc Goodman

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Lesson Info

13. Defense Against the Rising Ransomware Threat

Lesson Info

Defense Against the Rising Ransomware Threat

Now we need to talk about a new threat that's coming on the horizon. This is one that I mentioned during our first lessons today, ransomware. Ransomware is basically an automated cyber attack. We know that automation is the future of the world. It's happened in the auto industry, it's now happening in warehouses and guess what? Criminals have now created their very own automated tools that will help bad guys break into your computers. I mentioned in my book Future Crimes that today the overwhelming majority of cyber crime is committed by algorithms. It is entirely scripted and ransomware is a great example of that. They took a crime that previously would've required four or five people to kidnap somebody and hold them hostage and go collect the payout, run from the FBI and try not to be surveilled and all that. And they've just put it all together online and scripted it. They've done it in a way that scales phenomenally which is why we see that massive growth in ransomware. When you ge...

t attacked by ransomware, it looks something like this. You'll see a big red pop-up on your screen telling you that you're infected. Then you'll get a notice like this, which is actually quite amazing. You're told that you must pay to get access back to your data. Ransomware uses encryption which is normally a good thing and uses it against you. Here, the criminals take your own files and they use their secret key to go ahead and lock you out of your photos, out of your email, out of your videos. All of your favorite data, they now hold. And the only way to get it back is to pay them. They give you 48 hours to pay them and if you don't pay within that allotted time slot, one of two things will happen. Either the ransom amount will increase. It's like okay, you didn't follow our demands. Now you have to pay more incrementally, or they'll just wipe your files permanently and you will lose everything. How do the bad guys wanna be paid? Well it turns out they don't take American Express and they don't take checks. They wanna be paid in...Bitcoin. Exactly, the crypto currency. Now here's a really interesting thing. They want Bitcoin by the way because it's very, very difficult to trace and it's pseudonymous and it's hard to figure out who's behind each Bitcoin transaction. Now, here's something that really is tough for the criminals. What happens if your grandmother or your grandfather or your uncle Fred or your Aunt Frida get hacked with ransomware? Do they know what a Bitcoin is? They do no most likely. But good news, the criminals have thought of everything. If you look closely here, they've actually included a tutorial that says getting started with Bitcoin where they will teach you how to set up a coin-based wallet so that you can pay the ransom. That is a fully automated business. The process goes like this. The hackers go ahead and generate a key, they infect you, demand ransomware, you have to take your cash, turn it into Bitcoin, and then you send the Bitcoins to the hackers. And then in theory, you should go ahead and get your data back, right? Ransomware has become a multi-billion dollar business. In the past year, $75 billion worth of lost money and productivity as a result of ransomware. And we're having bigger and bigger attacks. Have you guys heard of something called WannaCry? WannaCry, like they're gonna make you wanna cry, was one of the biggest, biggest ransomware attacks we've had. It affected victims, 200,000 people and 150 countries around the world. This is what you saw. Your computer was locked down with WannaCry. But not only did WannaCry infect people in one country, it affected them around the world and it spread super, super quickly. It wasn't just to personal computers. A lot of businesses and governments got infected with WannaCry. Here in the United States, FedEx was infected. It meant your package tracking system wasn't going to work so they had huge demands in their networks, lots of complaints as a result of WannaCry. In Spain, the Telefónica, the national telephone company went down. In France, Renault, the French car manufacturer, had the ransomware jump from their business information network to their operational network which meant that the robots that made the cars got infected with ransomware and had to stop. In Germany, the trains stopped running. In fact, here in San Francisco, the Muni stopped running when this came out because all of the turn styles were hacked with ransomware. The Muni who couldn't get rid of the ransomware had a choice. They could either let people on for free or turn off the subway system and they just ended up taking a little yellow sticky and say trains free today and opened up all the turn styles. And in the UK is where we saw the biggest damage of all. In particular, WannaCry went after hundreds and hundreds of hospitals in the UK in the National Health System. Over 200 health trusts were impacted in the UK, or hospitals were impacted in the UK. It had a profound impact on people's lives. There was one gentleman who literally had his heart surgery canceled because all of the hospital systems were infected and this actually happened a week before or after the Ariana Grande terrorist attack in Manchester. Imagine you have a terrorist attack, lots of victims, and hospitals at reduced capacity that are turning away patients because of ransomware. This is why I want you guys to understand the extent and nature of the cyber threat. It's not about your stolen credit card, it's not about identity theft. Cyber attacks can costs lives and that's why we need to come together and work against it. And if you think ransomware is bad on your laptop or you think it's bad at work or on your phone, it's now coming to all the smart devices in your home. There's actually ransomware that will impact your smart TV. How many of you have a smart TV? Quite a few of you, a TV that connect to the internet. Now there's ransomware that comes on your TV and it won't allow you to change the volume or change the channel. Unless you pay one Bitcoin, you will be subjected to 48 hours of Jerry Springer or the Kardashians or something horrible like that. We're even starting to see ransomware attack smart thermostats. This is literally the language that started to appear on thousands of smart thermostats. "Ha! You suck. Pay one Bitcoin to get back control of your own thermostat." If you're living in Phoenix and it's the summer at 120 degrees and you want air conditioning, you gotta pay. If you're in Montreal in the winter and you want heat, you've got to pay. This is becoming a really, really tough problem and there are no good answers. There is a resource I wanna commend to you. It's called No More Ransom and you'll have this link available to you. This is actually built by Europol, the Dutch police, McAfee, and a few other companies. They have actually created tools that can help you try to get the ransomware off of your machine. But this is highly, highly technical and can go really awry. Only try this if you are a computer nerd geek. Get somebody to help you. Now the big question, should you pay? I want access back to all of my folders and all of my files. Matt Hone and Shirley would have loved to have paid a little bit of money to get back pictures of his grandparents in the first two years of his daughter's lives. I will tell you that officially the response from law enforcement, Interpol, Europol, and FBI is don't pay. There's two reasons why they don't want you to pay. Number one, we're starting to see terrorists use ransomware to support their terrorist operations 'cause they can make so much money with it and two, once you pay they actually have payer lists. "Hey, Joyce paid the last time we infected her. We're going to infect her again." The mere fact of paying means that you might be more infected. When you pay, half the time they give you access back to your stuff, half the time they don't. The best way to deal with ransomware is not to be infected. You're best defense is defense, defense, defense. Avoid the problems. How do you avoid ransomware? The great news is you guys already know how. All of these steps. If your software is up to date, if you download safely, if you're not using an administrator account, if you're thinking about what you're clicking on and the like, you can go ahead and protect yourself. The biggest thing that you can do to protect yourself is back up your data. They'll be lots of ransomware guidance, information about VPNs and other encrypted tools within your personalized digital protection plan which for those of you who purchased the class will get all of that data.

Class Description

Are you ready for a proven, insanely simple plan to lock down your digital life, defend yourself against hackers and reduce your cyber risk by up to 85%? How to Secure Your Digital Life is a one-day program that has helped tens of thousands of people and can help you finally achieve peace of mind for all your online activities and digital life. With cyber attacks at an all-time high—and rising every day—you owe it to yourself and your family to learn the critical art of cyber self-defense. If you don’t protect yourself, who will?

Did you know...

• Everyday malicious hackers around the world release nearly 1 million new malware threats.

• Antivirus software only catches 5% of new threats targeting your computer.

• Identity theft strikes a new victim every two seconds in the United States, and children are more than 50 times more likely to suffer identity theft than adults.

• The average American has over 130 online accounts today; a number predicted to rise to over 200 by 2020.

• Ransomware attacks were up 250% in 2017 and are expected to cause nearly 12 billion dollars in damage by 2019.

• Nearly 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked on a daily basis.

• According to IBM Security, 95% of data breaches can be traced back to human error.

Technology companies, app makers, and social media firms are vacuuming up every scrap of private data they can, including your location, personal photos, dating habits and entire browsing history. They can even remotely activate your phone’s camera or microphone—all without your knowledge. All of this personal data can be used against you, to determine whether you are offered that next job, promotion, car loan, or mortgage.

Today’s hackers, organized criminals, fraudsters, online predators and cyber bullies are threatening you, your family and your money on a daily basis. Don’t be an easy target, learn how to fight back. You may have heard privacy is dead and there is nothing you can do to protect yourself. This is not true. Companies and criminals alike want you to think that—don’t fall for it.

Small steps can make a huge difference in your personal and professional cybersecurity, and we’ll show you all the insider tips and secrets you need. There’s no such thing as perfect security, but after this class, you can  be vastly more protected and secure than you are today and Marc Goodman, the cyber security expert, who has helped tens of thousands of people protect themselves and take charge of their digital lives, is the guy to teach it to you.

Marc is the author of Future Crimes: Everything is Connected, Everyone is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It. Future Crimes is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller and was Amazon’s Best Business Book of the Year. Marc has an extensive background in global security and law enforcement, including work as a street police officer, undercover investigator and senior advisor to INTERPOL and the US Government. His pioneering work on cybercrime investigation has been featured on CNN, NPR, Larry King, PBS, the Tim Ferriss Podcast, and TED.

In this pioneering course on How to Secure Your Digital Life,  Marc shares with you the secrets to protecting yourself online and how to use the very best of the technological tools we depend on for our modern lives. You’ll learn the basics of cyber self-defense and quick, specific actionable steps to improve your privacy, security, and safety in the online world.


In this class you will learn:

• How to reduce your cyber risk by up to 85% or more.

• The #1 online security habit that changes everything

• Why experts who tell you privacy is dead are dead-wrong

• How to finally master and organize all your passwords in a simple easy to manage system

• Why you need to avoid using dangerous “administrator accounts” and how you are using them without even knowing about it

• How to use a Virtual Private Network to secure your connections when traveling, at the local coffee shop or home

• How to protect yourself and your children from identity thieves and scammers eager to take your hard-earned money

• About the rarely used, totally free tool that can make it nearly impossible to hack your online accounts

• How to protect yourself from the exponentially growing ransomware threat and how to prevent hackers from destroying all of your emails, photos, videos, and sensitive documents

• How to lock down your mobile phones against hackers, theft, and spyware

Whether you are a complete cybersecurity beginner or an experienced user, his class is made for anybody who uses the Internet, a computer or mobile phone and will cover Windows, Mac, iPhones, and Android devices. What you don’t know about Internet safety and security can harm you, your family and cost you your life savings. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a global cybercrime expert how to protect yourself and your digital future. This comprehensive, easy to understand, fun and the engaging course will crush your cybersecurity doubts. Defend yourself once and for all. Now’s the perfect time to take the next step to a safer, more secure digital future.  

Class Materials

Free Bonus Material

Resource Guide

Adobe Stock Get Started Download

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Update Protocol

Your Purpose Focused Digital Protection Plan

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Joyce Haven

Marc's class provides an excellent road map for making your online life safer. He provides clear examples and great resources that makes it easy to implement better personal security against identity theft and all manner of online scams. He's funny and engaging, and extremely encouraging. It was easy to go home and implement his plan. It also gave me the tools I needed to help my elderly mother safeguard her online presence as well. Great class, I highly recommend it.


Marc not only is a true and leading expert in cyber security, he also has a great way of teaching through a mix of compelling story telling and concrete "to-do's". The class is both compelling and extremely useful. I cant believe that this is not a required course at every high school and university. These are the real life skills we all need and Marc makes the complicated accessible. Great teacher, great class! I highly recommend it!

a Creativelive Student

Great course! This has given me so many tools to be able to better secure my digital life. I am eager to start implementing this info. Marc went over a serious amount of material in a one day class. It would be great if he does more classes at creative live. Thank you so much. I just turned on auto updates for my laptop operating system software!