HardSoft Systems Ltd Special Bulletin – Malware (2013)
Latest form of Malware via email: Ransomware
What is ransomware? It is a form of malware (malware is a general purpose term that encompasses virii, Trojans, root kits, hijacks, ransomware, etc.) that crawls your computer and any computers/ servers that are on the same network and encrypts all the data files it can find. It uses high end encryption algorithms which are not practical to crack with a brute force approach. The ransomware authors then demand $300.00 to supply you with a decryption key. If you don’t pay within the 3 days, the demand escalates to $2,200.00 and after a month, they destroy the encryption key. This type of malware can infect your system and do its dirty work in the background over a period of up to 6 weeks as it starts with the oldest files and works forward in order to encrypt the greatest number of files before it is discovered.
Now, how do we protect you and your company’s data/programs from infection? There are many forms of malware on the web these days as we all know. Many of them come disguised as business email or use social engineering to appear to be from someone you know. Here are some simple ways to safeguard your data:
|1.||Never reply to spam or open any attachments that do not come from a trusted email account.|
|2.||Make your email password hard to guess.|
|3.||Do not open junk email ever.|
|4.||Do not trust any emails that ask for your password.|
|5.||Be careful to read the subject line before opening any attachments; don’t get fooled by free giveaways or notices from financial institutions, shipping companies etc.|
|6.||Turn on your email spam filter.|
|7.||If an email attachment ends in .exe or a .zip it is probably an infected file.|
|8.||Have a trusted virus protection program installed on your system.|
If you open an email and you suspect that is infected delete the email, unplug your computer from the network so the infection can’t spread to others in your office and call us to scan your computer immediately.
There are so many forms of malware today that it is important to back up your data on a daily basis and have multiple archival backups as well (some of the new malware can infect and work on your computer system for up to 6 weeks before it makes itself known). If an infection occurs your back up data can restore your systems pre-virus and will save you time and money.
Please feel free to contact us @ 1-800-263-8433 FREE anytime if you have any questions or concerns regarding safeguarding your systems.
Hardsoft Systems Ltd.