Ransomware is malware that gets installed on a computer by way of an operating system exploit, a user clicking on an infected email, website link or popup ad, or from another infected computer on a network. Ransomware scrambles file data so it can't be read or used, then flashes a screen demanding a ransom to be paid to unlock the files. Attempting to reboot/restart the computer or copy the files off to another location doesn't work because the files are encrypted, and without them being unlocked after paying the ransom, they are unusable.
How to protect yourself:
Use the latest Windows operating system that you can. As operating systems age, they become less and less supported by Microsoft and therefore more vulnerable to attacks. WE recommend no older than Windows 7.
Use Windows Update to keep the latest security patches installed. If your computer does not automatically install updates, you should check manually once or twice a month to keep your operating system updated with the latest patches.
Use a good antivirus/anti-malware package. Any security software is better than none. At the very least use Windows Defender which is a free download from Microsoft. Better ones are Kaspersky or ESET. You can find out more aboutKaspersky here, and ESET here.
Do not click on popup ads that says "Viruses Detected", "Your computer needs to be scanned" or similar verbiage. Do not talk to random people calling your on your phone saying they are from Microsoft or that they have detected a virus on your computer. 100% of these are scammers.
Backup your critical data to an external hard drive or a cloud backup service. We recommend IDrive for cloud backup which you can sign up for free by clicking here. We also sell a wide variety of external hard drives at idahocomputersales.com
If you have questions, call a LOCAL computer technician in your area. If you are in the Treasure Valley call us at (208)-472-2800 or stop in our showroom at 4524 W. Overland Road in Boise.
The ransomware attack unleashed on Friday has affected more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries, according to Europe's law enforcement agency Europol on Sunday.
The malware, which locks files and asks for payment to unlock them, hit businesses and institutions across the world, including shipper FedEx, train systems in Germany, a Spanish telecommunications company, universities in Asia, Russia's interior ministry and forced hospitals in Britain to turn away patients.
More than 200,000 people around the world have been affected by the malware, Jake Cigainero reports for NPR's Newscast.
"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex international investigation to identify the culprits," Europol said in a statement.
As employees return to work on Monday and turn on their computers, the number of infections could rise, the agency said.
The malware, which has been called multiple names including WannaCry, Wanna Decryptor or WannaCrypt, creates a pop-up window informing users that their files are encrypted and are no longer accessible — without a payment. Screenshots of the malware show an initial request for $300 to be paid in bitcoin, with a timer that says the ransom amount will rise if it's not paid within a certain time frame, and files will be lost after that.
Read more here: www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/14/528355526/repercussions-continue-from-global-ransomware-attack
Attempts at cyber wire fraud globally, via emails purporting to be from trusted business associates, have surged in the last seven months of 2016, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a warning to businesses as it bid to curb such crimes.
Fraudsters sought to steal some $5.3 billion through schemes known as business email compromise, the FBI said in a report released Thursday by its Internet Crime Complaint Center.
That's up from a total of $3.1 billion reported as of the end of May, according to the survey of cases from law enforcement agencies around the world, in which cyber criminals request wire transfers in emails that look like they are from senior corporate executives or business suppliers who regularly request payments.
The total number of business-email compromise cases almost doubled from May to December of last year, rising to 40,203 from 22,143.
U.S. victims jumped to 22,292 by December 2016, from 14,032 in May 2016, and non-U.S. victims of such crime numbered up to 2,053 by December 2016 against 1,636.
Read more here: http://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-warns-that-one-in-4-falling-for-aggressive-new-wire-fraud-campaign-2017-5
f someone invites you to edit a file in Google Docs today, don’t open it — it may be spam from a phishing scheme that’s been spreading quickly this afternoon. As detailed on Reddit, the attack takes targets to a real Google sign-in screen, then asks them to “continue to Google Docs.” But this grants permissions to a (malicious) third-party web app that’s simply been named “Google Docs,” which gives phishers access to your email and address book.
The key difference between this and a very simple email phishing scheme is that this doesn’t just take you to a bogus Google page and collect your password — something you could detect by checking the page URL. It works within Google’s system, but takes advantage of the fact that you can create a non-Google web app with a misleading name.
Read more here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/3/15534768/google-docs-phishing-attack-share-this-document-with-you-spam