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Wednesday, 26 November 2014 01:19

YOUR COMPUTER JUST HIT A BRICKWALL! WHAT DO YOU DO? IT HAS BEEN HELD UP FOR RANSOM...

Written by Duane Lansdowne
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CryptoLocker CryptoDefence CryptoWallSee how CryptoDefence and CryptoWall has picked up where CryptoLocker left off...

When an international law enforcement actions earlier this year takes out the Gameover botnet, the IT security community and it's victims were very happy to hear that the servers that held the CryptoLocker ransomware tojan needed to do its dirty work was taken down.

  Well, it's not over!!!

Any celebration over CryptoLocker's demise is certainly premature - encrypting ransomware is still alive and well. CryptoLocker has inspired criminals, hackers, copycats who want in on the loot.

What is CryptoLocker? "CryptoLocker" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker

A new wave of file-encrypting ransomeware called CryptoWall and CryptoDefense have been popping up since at least April 2014.

CryptoWall has the same programmable codes as CryptoDefense, and only difference in the name.

If your computer has a message like the one shown below, you are in compromised and your data files on your hard drive or any connected drives will be scrambled, and it's simply not practicable to crack the encryption used by the criminals.

The message gives instructions on how to use the website where you can pay to unlock your files:

cryptodefense-pay-screen-500

If you do go to the payment website, you come to a screen that shows a clock counting down the time you have left to pay the ransom.

The longer you on the website to decide if you're going to pay the ransom and the price to decrypt your files doubles:

Your-Files-Are-Encrypted

CryptoWall's encryption can't be reversed without the key. That means if your files are locked, you either have to pay the ransom, or kiss your files goodbye.

Exploit kits are web pages containing prepackaged exploits that can be used to deliver malware of your choice to unsuspecting victims.

Often, one group of cybercriminals will simply "rent" exploit kit services from other cybercriminals on a pay-per-install basis.

So, whereas some ransomware attacks use social engineering in spam to trick you into downloading the malware, CryptoWall can get onto your computer just by visiting a website that is rigged up with an exploit kit.

What's next for ransomware?

Cybercriminals are trying out new variations on the ransomware theme, including moving from Windows Computers to mobile devices.

The trend has spread to Apple devices too.

How to stay safe from ransomware!

In the cat-and-mouse game between hackers and law enforcement agencies, the criminals are often tricky to bring to justice.

As part of the recent CryptoLocker takedown, US law enforcement formally charged a Russian man called Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev with fraud and racketeering offenses, but so far he hasn't been brought to justices.

  • First, don't pay for the ransom if you get this ransomware, because you could then open yourself up to other malicious malware and viruses.
  • Have a good onsite and offsite data backup of your most critical files and database in place.
  • Have an email policy in place that informs employees to which emails to open and which ones they should not open.
  • Have a firewall in place that has a Unified Threat Management protection on the device so can visually see threats happening on your network.
  • Have a good email filter and antivirus software that is monitored on a daily basis for malicious malware and viruses. Read the follow artile on how to avoid spam here.
Last modified on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 03:31

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