Blog Post

Ransomware or Cryptolocker: causes & prevention

There is a new virus which is causing havoc among companies.

It is commonly known as a Ransomware or Cryptolocker.

Cause:

  1.        Visiting unfamiliar/dangerous websites
  2.        Opening weird emails and/or their attachments
  3.        Downloading torrents

Most common way for it to spread is through emails. You receive an email from what looks like a trusted source or sometimes from an unknown source. The email will have an attachment on it with either *.zip or some strange file attached. The moment you open the attachment it runs through your PC, infecting all commonly known files and also your network drives. The inner working of the virus is extremely complicated, but in basic terms it encrypts your files and there is no recovering the files unless you have backups.

Depending on the variant of the virus you might see “help_decrypt” files popping up everywhere telling you to go to a site and pay an amount to unlock your files. Do note that this will NOT decrypt your files. The encrypted files are gone.

Prevention:

  1. Please do not open emails from addresses you do not know. Even if it says you won millions of dollars, or that you have a fax waiting, or that your bank needs your attention. If you do not know the sender then delete the file or call us to make sure it is not a virus.
  2. Do not go to untrusted or “dodgy” websites. Though you don’t see it, files like java and cookies can be run without you knowing it. Trusted websites have their own prevention methods to block this. Sites with lots of adware or banners on the site is usually candidates for such scripts.
  3. Also, if you need software please let us know and we will assist. Downloading from sites you are not familiar with increases your chances of getting malware in general.

What to do if notice the infection:

If you notice the infection on your device, unplug/disconnect your device from the network and shutdown your PC and contact us.

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