The Crypto Threat

CryptoWall is a real threat. In the last two months alone I have dealt with two different customers. The experience of having all of you files encrypted and locked away and being extorted is dreadful to say the least. In case you have not heard of this malicious bug let me fill you in. Cryptowall is what is called "ransomeware" that first manifested itself back in April of 2014.  It targets all versions of windows. The "ransomware" scans your computer and targets various files and then encrypts them with an unbreakable public key.

 
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptowall-ransomware-information

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptowall-ransomware-information

 

How is does one get this? Its easier than you might think. It comes through emails that contain zip attachments that contain executable disguised as a PDF file. These could look like any typical PDF, like an invoice for instance. All it takes is a click and your computer is infected. There are only two ways to get around the encryption once a computer is infected. Pay the ransom or wipe the operating system. The ransom is paid in Bitcoin and starts at $500. All of the options are not great. But this can be avoided with the correct precautions in place. 

Simple steps can prevent this otherwise disastrous situation  from occurring. Purchasing a Sonicwall to stop malicious viruses, spam  and hackers from entering a network. Have the local admin block personal email sites.  Have content filter and spam filters. But a good old fashioned security policy that is free and can work if user's follow it.  It costs more money to fix the problem in the long run then to invest in a security plan for a business.