Recently at my day job, a coworker got a rather nasty piece of malware on his Windows machine called CryptoLocker.
Basically what ransomware (like CryptoLocker) does is that it encrypts your important documents and pictures and then gives you a 72 hour ultimatum to wire transfer money to an overseas location in order to get the encryption pass-phrase to rescue your files.
Since “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” (cyber or otherwise), you need to be able to mitigate the damage this ransomware may cause.
Here are some tips to prepare for the event of ransomware hitting your computer.
- Back up your important files on multiple locations
- Use a portable hard drive and DISCONNECT IT from your laptop when you are done backing up your files
- Use DropBox Regularly
- The versioning feature will really come in handy
- Use Google Drive as well as DropBox
- Store your music on your music player or a memory stick
- Store your books on your tablet.
- Get off the Windows plantation!
- Try using a Linux LiveCD machine, an Apple or any other Tablet computer to minimize the “attack surface” you present.
- Keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up to date.
- RKill, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Lavasoft Ad-Aware, and SpyBot Search and Destroy are going to be your best friends.
This is the cyber equivalent of storing batteries and food in the event of a power outage. You might not be able to stop the power from going out but you can minimize the discomfort.
- Ransomware like CryptoLocker is a game changer in the malware wars – and not in a good way (itwriting.com)
- Malicious Ransomware Can Hold Computer Files Hostage (scientificamerican.com)
- CryptoLocker creators try to extort even more money from victims with new service (networkworld.com)
- CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here’s What You Can Do (makeuseof.com)
- How To Avoid CryptoLocker Ransomware (krebsonsecurity.com)
- CryptoLocker creators try to extort even more money from victims with new service (computerworld.co.nz)
- CryptoLocker creators try to extort even more money from victims with new service (pcworld.com)
- CryptoLocker Ransomware Spreading Rapidly (cio-today.com)
Heads up, Cryptolocker *may* be shipping with newer fakeflash cards.
Just found possible evidence of this, please check as this is truly evil if confirmed.
It’s best to be wary of memory sticks and cards bring given away by unknown parties.