Recently 360IT PARTNERS has seen a dramatic increase in “ransomware” activity and we want to make certain that you are aware of what is happening. Specifically, the “CryptoLocker” and “FBI Virus” are rampant on the Internet and email. The “CyrptoLocker” virus will encrypt the files on the workstation it has infected, plus any mapped network drives which usually are critical files on your file server. You will not get your files back unless you have a recent backup or you pay the $300.00 ransom by purchasing an untraceable “MoneyPak” with cash. If your system becomes infected with the FBI virus you may see the following popup in the screen. Immediately hit the “Ctrl+Alt+Del” keys simultaneously and go to Task Manager -> Applications and in the bottom right corner of the window “End Task” on all running applications, especially the FBI reference. Restart your system in “Safe Mode” and run your Anti Virus and Anti Malware applications.
Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming victim to these scams….
- Be leery of any email that asks you to click any type of link and verify with the person sending to make certain that it is safe.
- Do not click on a request to unzip a .ZIP file link, even if it seems to be from a legitimate source. Double check with the sender if you are uncertain.
- Always use the official listed sites listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Chrome.
- Never click on an email request that seems to have originated from a financial institution or provide personal information. This is usually a “phishing scam” where they will attempt to get bank login information and possibly steal your identity. Always contact your bank directly and report any suspicious activity.
- Make certain that you have an automated patch management service active in addition to the latest virus and malware updates.
- Subscribe to an identity theft service that will monitor and report any suspicious activity and provide insurance on credit card fraud and false credit applications placed in your name.
If you have any questions or need assististance in identifying suspicious threats feel free to call 360IT PARTNERS to assist you. Please share this information with your co-workers, vendors, friends, and family. Wishing you safe computing for the New Year.
Martin A. Joseph
President / CEO