Virus watch: Cryptolocker Ransomware targeted at millions of UK Emails

 The UK Crime agency has issued an alert to businesses regarding the new threat posed by notorious Bitcoin ransomware known as Cryptolocker. If that last line has you screwing up your face in confusion, then fear not, we’re here to tell you exactly what you need to know, what to do if you do find yourselves victim of this cruel malware and how to protect yourself.

What is it?

Cryptolocker Ransomware is a trojan horse which currently poses a significant threat to small businesses. It arrives in the form of an email purporting to be from a bank or a financial institution and will contain an attachment that appears to be an invoice or a fax. Opening this attachment will launch a virus that effectively takes your hard drive hostage and requests a ‘ransom’ to be paid in order to restore your hard drive to its former state. This will often be paired with a countdown that claims your hard drive will wipe if the ransom is not paid within a designated time.

The payment the ransomware demands is the almost-untraceable online currency known as Bitcoins. We have heard of it asking for 2 bitcoins, which at the current exchange rates is worth about £540. Due to being highly untraceable, Bitcoins are frequently linked to organised crime so we strongly suggest you ignore any requests for payment.

What Should I do if my computer gets infected by Ransomware?

The first thing to do if your computer becomes infected is to unplug it from the network to prevent further spread. Following this we would suggest giving Ponticello a call - 01803 200402. Although the encryption technology used by the Ransomware means it will almost certainly be impossible to unscramble the encryption, we will be able to wipe the virus from your system and install any relevant backups. If you are one of our customers, then we will instantly reinstate your up to date backup 

We would also suggest reporting the case to Action Fraud (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/)

How can I protect my business from Ransomware?

First and foremost avoid clicking any attachments such as the ones described earlier in this post. Also be suspicious of any emails which appear to be from banks. For more thorough protection, why not take a look at our hosted email service (add link). We run more than 90 deep and intelligent tests on every email to remove viruses and SPAM.

 

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