Security Update – What is Ransomware?
December 10, 2013
While most of you have heard of Malware, I want to take the time to send out information regarding the latest malware that is on the rise.
What is it?
Ransomware is malware that stops you from using your PC until you pay a certain amount of money (the ransom). The two types that exist are Lock Screen, which locks the screen and prevents you from accessing anything on your PC, and Encryption, which encrypts the files on your PC to stop you from accessing them. The Encryption ransomware is the most malicious since the malware can encrypt your data using an algorithm that cannot be broken, and it warns the user that if the ransom is not paid to the malware operators, the key will destroyed and the data lost forever.
How is it propagated?
Essentially the malware enters through an infected file from a site or email. An example is below of how one company’s files were infected:
- Account department received an email from a software company with a zip file attached
- When the receiver opened the file, a white box quickly flashed on screen
- Within a few hours, the company received word of a corrupt file on the system
- By the time the file was found on the network, hundreds of gigabytes of data was lost
How do I protect my PC?
First, make sure that your PC operating system and antivirus/malware protection are up to date and always observe best computing practices such as avoiding visiting unverified sites, clicking links from unknown sources, and avoiding executing/opening attachments from dubious email messages.
If you have any questions please contact us through our website: (http://www.longviewsystems.com/contact/)
If you would like further information on this threat, see the link below to Microsoft’s protection center: