How Does DNSFilter Stop Ransomware?

DNSFilter categorizes sites in real-time, including a robust malware category that includes ransomware. Block known and 0-day ransomware domains so that your employees are never in a position where harmful ransomware takes over their computers and puts your business at risk.

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What is ransomware?

Traditional ransomware is a type of malware that renders a device (or files and applications on that device) unusable unless the owner pays a ransom to hackers. The device owners are then in the difficult position of either choosing to pay the ransom in exchange for a decryption key (without a clear guarantee they will receive the decryption key) or revert systems to backups and avoid paying the ransom altogether. 

However in some cases, backups may be impacted or companies may not have robust enough backups to restore all of their systems.

Getting fully back online after a ransomware attack can take days or even months. In the midst of a ransomware attack, as the organization decides between paying the ransom or rebuilding their systems, many companies need to rely on paper files. Hospitals and government agencies are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks, impacting critical systems that may directly result in fatalities.

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The highest ransomware payout of all-time was $40 million

The average downtime a company will experience after a ransomware attack is 21 days

61% of government cyber attacks are ransomware attacks

Ransomware variants: Double extortion, RaaS, Non-encrypting

watch panel on double extortion ransomware
dns filter blocking threat domains

How does ransomware spread?

One major way ransomware is spread is through malicious URLs. These URLs can be shared in emails, SMS text messages, on chat forums like Discord or Slack—even in advertising campaigns on reputable websites.
These websites can host drive-by-downloads where just visiting a site force-downloads malicious software onto your computer that will initiate a ransomware attack.

Phishing campaigns and social engineering are also responsible for spreading ransomware. Fake social media accounts or too-good-to-be-true deals will often point users to malicious URLs, forcing malware downloads. Phishing emails are responsible for 54% of ransomware infections.

Another way ransomware can spread is through malicious attachments, which sometimes will trigger a DNS request.

How can you stop ransomware?

It’s important that every organization be prepared for a ransomware attack. Robust backups, application layer encryption, training, anti-virus, password managers, and multi-factor authentication will all aid you in the fight against ransomware. But one of the best ways to combat a ransomware attack is to block threats at the DNS layer.

DNS security not only blocks domains hosting ransomware, but will also stop “callbacks” from malware to host servers. This disables the ability for ransomware to be deployed and take over your computer in the event a ransomware package is deployed on your computer.

Take a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity, and put your company in a position to minimize the possibility of intrusion. When DNS protection is in place, it can mitigate 33% of all data breaches. It’s a lightweight but powerful layer that will keep you and your employees safe.

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Threats We Block

malware threat icon

Malware is short for “malicious software” and can be spread in a variety of ways such as forced downloads or malicious ad content. It includes viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, and trojan horses. The most common way that malware gets onto a computer or other device is through surfing hacked sites. So the best way to protect your company from malware is to prevent your users from ever accessing these sites.

Zero Day Threats

DNSFilter is the best security product to protect against zero-day attacks because our proprietary AI tools are constantly scanning the internet for new sites that could potentially contain scams or malware. DNSFilter detects threats up to 80 hours faster than static threat feeds.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing and spear phishing attacks are a favorite among hackers because they are relatively easy to implement. They use email or chat (such as public Slack channels or Discord) to lure victims into a scam, or more commonly to a link where they will enter data or download malware. Phishing attacks can be broad and general, impersonating institutions like banks or hospitals, or they can be targeted and sophisticated, often impersonating employees inside your own organization. Because DNSFilter is constantly scanning the web for new malicious sites, we can prevent phishing attacks by stopping your employees before they hit a malicious site, or give a phisher their data.


Ransomware is software that allows hackers to encrypt files, networks, and computers remotely. They then hold your data hostage until your company pays a ransom. With the evolution of ransomware in key sectors like healthcare as well as the ubiquity that Ransomware-As-A-Service offers, this threat technique has become one of the top causes of cybersecurity incidents worldwide. In 2020 the average ransomware demand was $233,000 and they now make up around ⅓ of all security breaches. If your company doesn’t pay you risk data loss, or in some cases, data being sold on the darkweb. The key to ransomware protection is stopping the malware from being downloaded in the first place, which usually requires blocking the site that hosts the malicious content before an unsuspecting user can visit it and become infected.

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A true 21st century threat, cryptojacking is the unauthorized takeover of a computer or network to “mine” cryptocurrency. Because new currency is created by computers using massive amounts of computing resources computational bandwidth is at a premium. Cryptojacking infects a distributed network of computers to utilize their computational bandwidth, slowing down the device and, at scale, driving up your energy costs. DNSFilter has a robust catalog of known cryptojacking sites, and domains that contain cryptocurrency references can be blocked in a single click.


Thousands of people type into their browser every day. Turns out, the average internet user isn’t always the best speller. Bad actors take advantage of this by setting up malicious sites with domain names that feature common misspellings of familiar sites. Everyday we seem to discover new “Chase” login pages with an increasingly creative variety of typos (check out the fake sites here). DNSFilter protects the user from typosquatting by blocking access to domains that are known to contain malware or malicious content. Never worry about misspelled domain names again.

Man-in-the-Middle attacks

Have you ever visited a site that just looked off? Middleman attacks create a fake site that mimics a trustworthy brand login, and provides form fields where users enter their password, username, and potentially credit card data. The hacker then absconds with this data, leaving the user confused and exposed. Our AI-tool scans the UX of domains and includes logo matching, identifying when logos are being used on sites where they do not belong, ensuring that man-in-the-middle sites are quickly found, cataloged, and blocked.

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