There is a new version of an old trick going around, which could cost you thousands to get your computer data back!
There is an email being sent out, which contains a link. Once you click on the link, it downloads malware onto your computer. The malware encrypts all of your computer files, including any files on attached or networked storage media which makes it impossible to access them at all. Once this is completed, your a big red message will appear on your computer screen demanding payment via Bitcoin or MoneyPak. It then installs a countdown clock on your computer that ticks backwards from 72 hours. Victims who pay the ransom receive a key that unlocks their encrypted files; those who let the timer expire before paying risk losing access to their files forever. The nice cyber-nasties will let you pay after the 72 hours however, the price doubles. By the time the virus announces itself, it’s too late. You’re already infected.
I cannot stress this enough: If you receive any emails that look suspicious, no matter what they say, DO NOT click on the link. Avoid suspicious emails, if you can’t verify that it is legit – DON’T OPEN IT, don’t open zip files. Make sure your computer is free of malware, because this malware is a “Zombie”. This means takes any kind of malware that is already on your computer, and turns it into itself – meaning it multiplies (kinda like zombies, hence the name).
Some computer security companies are taking the moral high-ground, and advising their customers NOT to pay the ransom. However, there are many companies that are on the verge of bankruptcy because of the loss of data and the loss of business.
This encryption is virtually uncrackable encryption, and if you want your data back, you have no choice but to pay their ransom. Not to mention the time and money wasted on having a non-functional computer until the payment goes through.
There is a program that can help block this crypto-locker. You can download it at: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/11/cryptolocker-crew-ratchets-up-the-ransom/
We have a Spam Filter available that would help to prevent this malware getting through.
And….backups, backups, backups. In case you missed that subtle hint – backups! They are more important than ever!
If you think you’ve got this nasty bug, or any other bug –
call us at 204-800-3166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help you get bug-free!