IT Services Security Alert: Cryptowall Ransomware

IT Services Security Alert: CryptoWall Ransomware

CryptoWall: Holding Your Data for Ransom

On June 23, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a warning about CryptoWall, a ransomware threat that can endanger your business and cost you money. Ransomware is malicious software that infects your computer and encrypts your data, locking you out of your files. Your information is held for “ransom,” a request for money usually between $200 and $10,000. Failure to pay by a certain deadline results in your data being destroyed.

The FBI has received more than 992 complaints of CryptoWall incidents since April 2014. They estimate the cost of these incidents totals more than $18 million. This cost not only includes the ransom itself, but recovery expenses and potential legal fees.

Malware Ransomware IT Security Threats

Becoming Infected

CryptoWare gets into your computer when you open infected ads, emails or attachments, or by visiting infected websites. Once the virus enters your computer, it quickly encrypts your data, preventing access.

Once your system is infected, an electronic ransom note alerts you to the amount you need to pay to recover access to your computer. Payment is usually demanded in Bitcoins, a form of digital currency that is anonymous, quick and untraceable.

Protect Yourself

Here are some key steps you can take to protect yourself against CryptoWare and other malicious software attacks:

  • Use firewall protection
  • Use advanced anti virus protection
  • Enable pop up blockers
  • Back up your computer routinely
  • Do not open emails or messages from unrecognizable sources
  • If you do receive a ransomware pop up or alert on your computer, the FBI recommends that you “immediately disconnect from the Internet to avoid any additional infections or data losses. Alert your local law enforcement personnel and file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.”

Get Help With Bay Area IT Services

Your focus should be on your business. Distractions and detriments such as CryptoWall can be overwhelming and costly. That is why many businesses choose to bring in professional partners, such as Bay Computing, to handle these problems. Your Bay Area IT service technician can ensure that your firewall and anti virus protection are up to date and active, and that your data is appropriately backed up. They can help train staff to prevent virus infections and, in the case of an infection, help you regain your data.

Contact our Bay Area IT services firm for your a free assessment or more information regarding your data’s safety.

 

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