Special Bulletin: Nasty Malware: Ransomware
This was originally written by Jeremy for our Managed Services Clients.. We felt this was important enough to share with everyone else that subscribes to our newsletter:
While viruses and malware get more complicated technically, they still rely on social engineering to dupe users into letting them in. Even the most complicated and layered anti-malware tactics don’t help if a user clicks on a file and installs the malware. The cost of doing so has reached new levels with the latest class of threats, referred to as Ransomware.
Ransomware takes your computer hostage and tries to extort money from you to get access back. It should be noted that you can pay everything the hostage taker is asking, but you’re unlikely to get anything back once you’ve given them your credit card information.
Ransomware has been around for a couple of years and, while annoying, it wasn’t impossible to clean up the damage from a user’s system. However, the latest generation is not only locking the operating system of a user’s computer, but is actually encrypting files. This means that if the computer is infected, there’s NO WAY of retrieving those files. When was the last time you backed up your files?
Besides layered anti-malware protection (email server, firewall, network, workstation, etc.), the best defense remains the same as it has since email was invented: Don’t open attachments from someone you don’t know. The bad guys try to trick you by pretending to be a network printer, or electronic fax, or a business association wanting you to respond to a complaint. Here are some other things to keep in mind:
• Be aware of social engineering attacks to be safe.
• Avoid opening e-mail attachments unless expected.
• Avoid visiting un-trusted sites that may redirect or download malware
As part of the KRIS Contract, SomethingCool.com has anti-malware already in-place on our clients’ network. We are also blocking most types of files on our email servers that could include infected files. However, there is no 100% effective anti-malware solution. If your files are not being backed up, or if you’re not currently saving ALL of your documents to a network share that is backed up, please free to contact us for solutions.