RANSOMWARE THREAT IS BACK!
After an absence of 2 months, the CryptoWall ransomware threat is back! CryptoWall 3.0 started appearing on Monday 1-12-15 and is a sophisticated ransomware threat program that encrypts the victims’ files making them unusable and non-recoverable. Users are instructed to pay the equivalent of US$500 in bitcoin virtual currency in order to receive the decryption key that allows them to recover their files and make them usable again. Of course, once you have paid, there is no guarantee that your files will really come back…I know, why can’t you ever find a trustworthy criminal?
CryptoWall is being distributed through drive-by download attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in outdated browser plug-ins or through other malware already installed on computers, researchers from Microsoft said Tuesday in a blog post. This means that you do not have to click on anything to get infected…just visiting an infected website for 1 second is sufficient.
There is no known automated method of protecting your computer from this attack. including the best anti-virus/anti-malware software available, so users will have to remember to maintain their systems. Keeping your computer software up to date is the most practical way of remaining protected.
As always, to further protect themselves, users should back up their files regularly to an external hard drive which is then disconnected from the computer and/or network. After the backup is complete, the backup drive must be disconnected from the computer and/or network to prevent the backups from also getting encrypted by a CryptoWall infection as well.
While online backup services initially sound like great protection, they usually back up your files every time they change but only keep the most recent version of your files. What this means is that when CryptoWall encrypts your file, the online backup service will detect the change and then automatically backup the newly encrypted file. By doing so, the online backup service will overwrite and destroy the original unencrypted file you were trying to protect in the first place.
In the absence of backups there is usually no option to recover the files aside from paying the cyber criminals for a possible decryption key, IF they decide to give it to you after paying them.
Mad Dog Computer Repair and Services is here to help with both in-shop and remote maintenance plans available to keep your system software up to date. We also provide and configure hard drive backup solutions. Unfortunately, even we cannot get your information back once it is gone.