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We are seeing an increase in the number of incidents where:
· You receive an email asking you to click on a link or open attachment. NEVER DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE WHO THE SENDER IS AND YOU ARE EXPECTING THE EMAIL.
· The message may look like it's from someone you know, but the message itself looks suspicious because of grammar or language choice and includes an attachment.
· The actual email address from the sender is not who they say they are (hit reply to doublecheck the sender).
What’s going on?
You are being threatened by a Ransomware attempt!
If you aren’t familiar with that term, ransomware refers to programs that hold your computer or hard drive hostage, demanding that you pay a ransom fee (hence the name) if you want to get your information back. That’s exactly how the crypto virus works. Once users become infected, they see an error screen that tells them they have a fixed amount of time, usually 100 hours, to send money to the virus developer before all information on the drive will be permanently deleted.
SureTech’s recommendations for security layers can help protect from these attacks, but it is possible for attachments to get through and if users open them they can become a host to infect files they have access to. Our SureBack™ enables us to revert to previous versions if an ransomware happens so you are not subject to paying to get your files back, but we ideally want to keep this from happening altogether!
How the Crypto Virus Spreads
The crypto virus spreads through email attachments. Typically, these are disguised as PDF or Word files, hiding in official-looking emails designed to look like they are from recognizable companies like UPS, FedEx, or DHL.
Once you open the accompanying attachment, the virus hijacks your computer, and only the ransom screen will be shown. Typical ransom amounts are reported to be in the $100-$300 range, but may go as high as $700.
How to Avoid the Crypto Virus and Other Malware
Obviously, the best way to deal with any computer virus is to not be affected by it in the first place. With that in mind, here are a few tips for keeping your computers clean and running smoothly:
◾Never install software you aren’t familiar with, and be very wary of unexpected attachments within email messages, even if they seem to come from a reputable source.
◾Work with a knowledgeable and reliable IT partner who can help you maintain high levels of network security and spot any potential challenges quickly.
◾Stay away from websites distributing illegal copies of software, music, or movies.
◾Back up the data on your personal and work computers frequently, so that your most important files and information are always close at hand if you need them in an emergency.
What to Do if Your Computer Becomes Infected With the Crypto Virus
Turn off your computer and call us immediately! If you detect that one of your computers has become infected with the crypto virus, is to disconnect it from the network. It is possible for connected computers, or entire networks, to become infected from a single workstation that’s sharing information.
It is our pleasure to be supporting your IT Solutions.
Your SureTech Solutions Team