So, you arrived at work this morning, opened your email and found you have a package about to be delivered from UPS. Just open the attachment to find the details.
Your first thoughts are, I don’t remember ordering anything. Then you think, someone must be sending something, but what, and why haven’t they told me? Your curiosity is getting into second gear. You call a couple of work mates to see if they sent you something. Then a couple of friends, family etc. After five minutes you do what any inquisitive person does. You open the attachment.
BINGO !!! your screen just got taken over with the following message.
YOUR FILES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED TO PROTECT YOU. TO GET THE DECYPTION KEY GO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE WWW.SUCKER.COM AND DEPOSIT $350.00. IF YOU DO NOT PAY WITHIN 48 HOURS THE DECYPRTION KEY WILL BE DESTROYED AND YOUR FILES WILL BE LOCKED FOREVER!
Welcome to the Crypto virus. The originals ones were kinda of easy to get around and only attacked your local drives. Their siblings have become very nasty and attack local and Network drives and propagate throughout your organization quicker than you can say OH S**T!
There are variants to the UPS notice to be aware of. That friend that you haven’t heard from in 15 years suddenly wants to be you best buddy. To demonstrate what a great buddy they are they attached a bunch of you favorite jokes, a hunk of a man for you to view, or a really hot babe. It really doesn’t matter what the attachment says it is. What it is, is, a variant of the Crypto Virus ready to attack the moment your curiosity gets the better for you.
How do I protect myself against these monsters you might ask? These monsters, and nearly all the bad stuff you get today, rely on one thing to attack. YOU!!! Yes YOU!!. They don’t care about trying to beat your antivirus any more they just use you to bypass it.
IT guys, and girls, are bombarded with angry customers that say things like, “I pay you to protect us against this stuff”. What you don’t realize is there are hundreds of different attacks every day. New Viruses are developed at a much faster rate than the antivirus guys develop traps. And remember, they can’t develop a trap until the virus is let loose and attacking.
Let me give you a few easy steps to defeating these monsters. If you don’t know the sender, delete the email. “But I know UPS”. You counter. NO YOU DON’T! If you are expecting a package or someone has sent you a package UPS will NOT send you notification with an attachment. If you haven’t heard from a friend in fifteen years, guess what, he/she isn’t going to send a message with an attachment to reconnect. Hello, this sounds a bit like the other articles on how to beat the bad guys. USE COMMON SENSE.
The other method for protection from these guys is to make sure you have a really good backup of all your data every night. Good is a “professional service”, Icloud, Ibackup, Carbonite etc. are NOT professional grade backup systems for business. Need your home computer/device backed up? Great, use one of these guys. Need a work File Server, SQL Server etc. backed up? Go to the Internet and find a good professional Data Storage vendor. Or… Call Thin-nology (www.thin-nology.com) . We do that.
A good backup means you don’t need the decryption key. Shift_Delete all the encrypted files and restore from last nights backup. It’s quicker and probably cheaper depending on how much data you have. And, there is no guarantee that the guy sitting in his apartment in Moscow is going to send the key anyway. He doesn’t care if you get your data back. Did you notice I said Moscow? The Russians don’t do the hacking type of stuff it takes too long to get the money. They want YOUR money now. They are not going to wait to sell what they have stolen.