Even though this sneaky little virus has been around since 2014, it’s still going strong today. CryptoWall is ransomware. It is a Trojan horse virus that will infect your computer and encrypt all of your files until you pay the ransom to the hackers.
How does CryptoWall infect your computer?
How does your computer become infected with this ransomware? You know those spam emails that offer too-good-to-be-true deals? Clicking those links is a major no-no. If you don’t remember a rich uncle in Saudi Arabia, chances are he didn’t die and leave you a million dollars, so just put that email in the spam folder where it belongs.
There are several other malicious email types that distribute this malware, too. They come in the forms of an undelivered package notice, an invoice or an incoming fax report in many cases. Most of them will try to get you to download an attachment. Cyber criminals are coming up with new, sneakier ways to distribute their computer beasties, so when in doubt, don’t click on it!
Malicious ads and compromised websites can also infect your computer, so be wary before you click. Even if someone you know and trust is posting a link on social media or in an email, if it looks suspicious, realize that their account could be compromised and some hacker may be distributing malware under their name.
What happens once CryptoWall infects your computer?
Once CryptoWall is on your computer, you will know because you’ll receive a message telling you all your files are encrypted and if you want them to be decrypted, you’ll have to pay a ransom. This ransom is usually hundreds of dollars. They may ask you to pay in bitcoin to keep their identities from being traced. There is a URL where you can make payment. Even if you restart your computer, you won’t be able to rid yourself of that screen without paying the ransom.
What can you do to protect your computer from CryptoWall?
Back up. Even if you have up-to-date antivirus software, it’s not a 100% guarantee of safety. The best defense is a good offense, so back up your data regularly. You can do this on an external hard drive or in the cloud. If your files have been compromised but they’re all backed up, you won’t be stuck if sneaky hackers do manage to get CryptoWall onto your system.
Be careful when clicking. Be cautious when you click on anything or download anything, in an email, in an instant message or on a website.
Maintain security software. Of course, keep up-to-date antivirus software, but know that hackers are always coming up with new ways to get around this software so it’s not foolproof. A business-class email security and spam filtering solution can help add another layer of security on your network to filter out most of the malicious sources of email.
Update all software. Keep your software updated. The latest and greatest software updates for your computer, tablet and smart phone can help protect you (yes, CryptoWall can even infect your mobile devices and there have even been some instances of iOS infections!).
Learn more about how to protect yourself or fix your computer by perusing our blog. And if you want more information about backing up and securing your computer, contact CMIT Solutions of Centreville today. We worry about IT so you don’t have to.
CMIT Solutions of Northern Virginia provides a strategic approach to IT consulting that improves performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Assisting businesses in Centreville, Chantilly, Dulles, Gainesville, Manassas and Haymarket, we can help you achieve the fastest return on your technology investment. Call 703-881-7738 today to see how we can help your business stay in business.