Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ransomware Alert!

Over the past few weeks, KCTC has been made aware of a number of attacks with ransomware. Ransomware is a type of virus that restricts access to your system or your data. Many of the ransomware variants will encrypt your data and then demand payment for the key to decrypt the data. There is no way to decrypt the data without the key, so the only sure way to recover your data is to restore from a good backup taken prior to the attack.
Most of these attacks will come in the form of email attachments or compromised web sites. All computer users should avoid opening attachments from unknown users. Also, be aware that email addresses can be spoofed, so one should be cautious of attachments from known senders that were not expected. Internet browsers are another common attack vector. Always close your internet browser when not using it or leaving for the night as rotating ads can be compromised and contain malware exploits. An open browser window on a site that contains rotating content, could pull down compromised content while the user is not present.
All data files should be backed up. Please call KCTC today if you need assistance backing up your data. Restoration of data from backups is often the only way to recover files that have been affected by malware or computer viruses. Make sure you are saving your data to locations that have reliable backups.
All computers should be running up to date antivirus software. Antivirus programs are effective at stopping known threats before they can cause significant damage to your computers and data, and should be installed on all of your computers.
For additional information on ransomware, please refer to the following links.
Please let your friends and family know of the dangers of malware, ransomware, and computer viruses, and remind them to be cautious when opening email attachments and browsing internet sites.