An especially troublesome virus called CryptoLocker (aka ransomware CryptoLocker) has recently made the news and is something you should take steps to protect yourself and your data against.
In short, if your computer or server gets infected with CryptoLocker, it will quietly start encrypting all files making them inaccessible to you. This includes files on unprotected shared folders on servers or other computers. The virus has access to whatever you have access to.
The virus then asks you to pay money to (hopefully) get the decryption information from its makers and tells you if you don’t pay your information will be lost forever. Remember, you are dealing with criminals, paying the ransom is risky and there is no guarantee it will work.
CryptoLocker is normally spread using an email attachment, but can also spread by visiting infected websites. Payroll reports, bank records, and account verification notices are frequently the subject of the email or attachment name, although other subjects and attachment names can be used.
Swick Technologies has the following advice:
- If your computers and servers are protected by Swick Technologies we’ve already taken several steps to protect you. This includes updating your antivirus software, locking down certain folders, updating firewall and security software (if you have these options). No system is perfect and you still need to be careful.
- Do not open any attachment from anyone you don’t know and you are not expecting. Pause before you open any questionable attachment.
- Check to make sure your backup is running properly (you’re protected if Swick Technologies is protecting your data).
- Contact SwickTech at 414.257.9266 as soon as possible if you think your computer is infected. We can remove the virus and restore your files from backup.
- Older and home computers, especially those that are not updated or running Windows XP, are particularly susceptible to this. Take extra precautions. If these computers are not properly protected we recommend they do not access your business network.