We’ve all gotten them: an email warning of a missed package delivery by USPS, or a new voicemail waiting. Usually, it is fairly obvious that these are spam messages, and so are deleted promptly.
However, what if someone you know sends you an email attachment, or a link? Most of us wouldn’t think twice about opening it. This is our weak point that computer viruses, and particularly ransomware, exploits.
What is Cryptolocker?
Cryptolocker is a particularly sophisticated ransomware variant of the password type, wrapping up victims’ files and data in several layers of virtually unbreakable encryption before demanding ransoms of several hundred dollars, with some demands rising as high as $8000.
Security vendors have a number of names for Cryptolocker – Trojan.Ransom, Trojan.Cryptolocker, Win32/Crilock.A. By any name the malware is a serious threat, in part because of its highly organized method of attack.
Research from antivirus vendor Bitdefender Labs sheds some light on just how effective Cryp-
tolocker is at propagating, finding that the malware was able to attack more than 12,000 systems in just one week.
What You Can Do
A few best practices:
- Do not open emails from strange or unfamiliar email addresses
- Do not disable or deactivate antivirus or antimalware
- Do not download software from torrent sites – official or direct downloads are preferable
- If you receive an email from a familiar contact that includes an attachment or link, verify separately that the person or organization actually sent you this message.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Backup your data to an offsite location
Offsite backup is a critical component to a Cryptolocker recovery strategy. Webroot says cloud backup is “highly recommended” for mitigation, adding that “offsite backup has long been an essential part of any Disaster Recovery plan.”
Why offsite? Because Cryptolocker infections have been known to infect local drives and network shares that are mapped as a drive letter on the infected computer, according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).
That means if you’re using these tools as your sole means of backup, there’s little chance of recovery.
Don’t Be a Victim
Cryptolocker is no lightweight in the area of malware. Its authors have taken great pains to disguise themselves and make it as difficult as possible to recover your data without paying the ransom.
Until they are caught or stopped, Cryptolocker’s authors will likely continue to exploit victims to make money. But by taking these preventative steps, you can ensure that your own business doesn’t have to pay the ransom.
At Sygnvs Solutions, we offer secure offsite backup for your company’s most precious files, and we’re happy to show you how easy it can be to secure your data! Get in touch with our team today to keep your files safe!