RDS3: Ransomware defense strategy by using stealthily spare space

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



Ransomware attacks are becoming prevalent nowadays with the flourishing of crypto-currencies. As the most harmful variant of ransomware crypto-ransomware encrypts the victim's valuable data, and asks for ransom money. Paying the ransom money, however, may not guarantee recovery of the data being encrypted. Most of the existing work for ransomware defense purely focuses on ransomware detection. A few of them consider data recovery from ransomware attacks, but they are not able to defend against ransomware which can obtain a high system privilege. In this work, we design RDS3, a novel Ransomware Defense Strategy, in which we Stealthily back up data in the Spare space of a computing device, such that the data encrypted by ransomware can be restored. Our key idea is that the spare space which stores the backup data is fully isolated from the ransomware. In this way, the ransomware is not able to “touch” the backup data regardless of what privilege it can obtain. Security analysis and experimental evaluation show that RDS3 can mitigate ransomware attacks with an acceptable overhead.

Publisher's Statement

©2017 IEEE

Publication Title

2017 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence (SSCI)