This is really nasty stuff.
What is ransomware? It is a form of malware (malware is a general purpose term that encompasses virii, Trojans, root kits, hijacks, ransomware, etc) that crawls your computer and any computers/ servers that are on the same network and encrypts all the data files it can find. It uses high end encryption algorithms which are not practical to crack with a brute force approach. The ransomware authors then demand $300.00 to supply you with a decryption key. If you don’t pay within the 3 days, the demand escalates to $2,200.00 and after a month, they destroy the encryption key. This type of malware can infect your system and do its dirty work in the background over a period of up to 6 weeks as it starts with the oldest files and works forward in order to encrypt the greatest number of files before it is discovered.
Can we protect you and your company’s data/programs from infection?
Simple answer – YES. If you have virus protection- but if some how, the malware penetrated your system you can restore your data from your online backup program.
Make sure you have some form of offsite or online backup that is scheduled to backup your critical data everyday.
Make sure you have a good retention policy with your backup provider. Most discounters will only provide you with 7 days retention. So if the malware takes up to 6 weeks to encrypt your data you will not be able to recover anything. We can offer you for no additional charge up to ten years retention.
Please contact your IT professional to make sure you are protected from this malicious virus.
Written by Keith Green