You must avoid the Cryptowall

June 15, 2014 – 9:10 PM

The dreaded Cryptolocker virus made an unwelcome return over the last few weeks in the form of a new variant named Cryptowall.

If you were not aware of Cryptolocker, it is a nasty malware that computer users may be tricked into opening by way of an e-mail attachment. When opened, it executes malicious code that travels across your computer network and encrypts all the data it finds, making the files inaccessible. You are presented with a pop-up telling you that your data is encrypted and that if you want the decryption key, you have to pay a $300 ransom to the hackers who created this malware in order to get the decryption code to recover your data.

In many cases, you may be able to restore from a backup, but if not caught in time, your backup may become encrypted.

The Cyrptowall malware is the latest variant. It was most widely distributed by way of an e-mail that said you had received a fax. The body of the message includes a link to click to retrieve your fax. When you click the link, it downloads the Cryptowall malware. Instead of a $300 ransom, the ransom is now $500 and if you wait more than 48 hours, it rises to $1,000.

You may have also read how the Durham Police Department was recently hit by this malware, taking a few days to fully recover from having all its data encrypted. It was confirmed that the fax e-mail with the fake link was the culprit.

It is extremely important to be as cautious as possible before opening e-mail attachments and clicking e-mail links. It’s very easy to make an e-mail look legitimate when it’s really fake.


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