We have been made aware of the latest ransomware virus, “Locky” and this time, even Apple Mac users are at risk.
What is ransomeware?
Ransomware is a virus, and once it has installed itself on your computer, its sole purpose is to encrypt all your files. Once files are encrypted, there is no recovery apart from paying a “ransom”. The fee charged can vary and often is only a prelude to obtaining your bank details so that larger monetary amounts can be taken. The “Locky” virus requests payment by Bitcoins (internet currency) which is difficult to trace.
How is it transmitted?
Generally, most viruses are transmitted by email, and in the case of “Locky”, an email will show a Word attachment. We believe the content of the email will advise an invoice remains outstanding.
What will happen if i click on the attachment?
If you open the “Word” attachment, the virus will install. Within a matter of seconds, every file on your pc will be encrypted and unusable. If you have connected hard drives, USB pens, Networked drives, these will all be encrypted. Effectively, every photo, document and music file will be locked. Your desktop background will change with a picture indicating how to pay the ransom.
Should I pay the ransom?
Never!!!!! An unknown company (hackers) have infected your computer and locked all your files. Now they want money off you. Think of this parallel. A thief steals your car and then contacts you and asks you to pay him to get your car back. Would you do it?
Can I recover my files?
NO is the short and only answer, with one exception. If you are using Dropbox, even though your files will also be encrypted, Dropbox is able to rollabout changes. This is dependant upon the type of subscription you have.
What happens if i get the virus?
The only solution is a complete wipe of your computer with a complete loss of all your data.
You may feel the above comes across as a little harsh but there is a very effective solution. BACKUP!!!! If you perform frequent backups of your data on to different media’s such as USB and Dropbox, then if you do get the virus, a simple format of your pc will resolve the issue. Virus’s like “Locky” exploit this very simple concept.
PC Repair Leeds is currently trialling a new Beta version of Malwarebytes whose aim to protect against such ransomware. We will update this post with out progress.
Please see here for more information from idigitaltimes.com