Ransomware: It’s everywhere!

I have made several posts about Ransomware in the past, but in case you’re just tuning in, I will recap:

Ransomware is a new type of computer virus. It started in 2013 with a virus called CryptoLocker, but there are now literally thousands of different variants of Ransomware. There is one that will encrypt files that have already been encrypted by other Ransomware viruses. One made by a noob who used the same decryption key for every victim. There is a service that lets people create their own Ransomware virus with an intuitive, user friendly interface. There is even a Ransomware Virus that aims to educate people about the dangers of Ransomware viruses. All Ransomware viruses behave the same way:

  • They attach themselves to an email that you receive from a friend or coworker, an email address you recognize and don’t think twice about opening.
  • Once you open the attachment, the Ransomware virus starts to work encrypting all of the files on your computer – this means it jumbles up your data, even across the network on shared drives – it doesn’t delete anything, but makes the data unreadable unless you decrypt it with a special code.
  • Then, when all the your financial records, resumes, work information, and pictures of your kids have been locked, the Ransomware sends a notification back to the hacker’s server telling them that you are ready to get the bad news…
  • The next time you log on to your laptop or desktop you are greeted with a message that says something like: “All your files have been locked using RSA 2048 military grade encryption, and only we have the encryption key. If you want your files back, you must send 2 Bitcoins to this address: XXXXXXX and we will send you a decryption key”
  • If the process is interrupted, all your data is lost forever. If you choose not to pay the hacker his ransom, all your data is lost forever. There is absolutely no way to get it back, ever, period.
  • If you are infected by a Ransomware virus you only have 2 choices to ever see your data again: either let the program run it’s course and then pay the ransom to get the key, or delete the encrypted files and restore them from a backup.

This is why everyone needs to back up their important files regularly. If you aren’t backing up your data regularly, or aren’t sure if you are, then CALL US or EMAIL US today, before you get infected with Ransomware. One of our experienced techs will set up regular offsite backups through one of our affiliate programs with iDrive or Infrascale to make sure that even if your home or business gets hit with Ransomware, you won’t lose a thing.