We have noticed a recent increase in a particularly nasty form of malware known as the virus. This is sometimes also known as the CryptoWall virus.
Here’s what happens:
Upon infecting the machine in question, the virus proceeds to encrypt all of the user’s data, including local hard drives and network shares.
The only way to get the data un-encrypted is to pay a ransom fee and even then, there is no guarantee that this will be honoured.
This is potentially very damaging as there is the potential for an entire companies data to be lost.
The most common source of this virus is via email. A user will receive an email from a seeming legitimate company such as eBay or a courier service inviting them to click a link. Upon clicking the link, the virus will be downloaded and will infect the users machine. There is also a possibility for this virus to propagate using other channels such as messenger programs and social media.
Watch out for the following:
• Do not open any emails from an address you do not recognise. Check the actual email address not just the senders name.
• Be very wary of clicking on any links within an email, even if the email is from someone in your address book or from a seemingly legitimate company.
To ensure that you are protected, we recommend the following preventative measures:
• Anti-virus software is fully updated with the latest signatures
• Operating systems, browsers and browser plugins are up to date with the latest security patches
As with any security issue, informing and educating staff is paramount so its always a good idea to inform everyone in your company who could be affected.