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The Cryptolocker Virus – Your Worst Possible (Digital) Nightmare

The Cryptolocker Virus – Your Worst Possible (Digital) Nightmare

The Cryptolocker is a virus that attacks and encrypts all your files with encryption so strong that it would take the world’s most powerful computers 100 years to crack the encryption key. This Trojan malware is very discreet, and often, you will never notice until all your files are encrypted. Once it gains access into your network, it attacks almost everything from your desktop, laptop, and all shared network files including dropbox and cloud services – This also may include any connected devices like memory cards, and USB storage devices. The target victims are usually large data processing organizations, but the risk is there for everyone that has an online connection to the internet.

cryptolocker virus

cryptolocker virus

Furthermore, the Trojan virus singles out the Microsoft Windows operating system. If you are on an Apple Mac system, you are slightly safer for now. In ensuring stealth in its operation, the hackers gain access to the security wall of your network. Then the virus locks the files that can be encrypted. The asymmetric encryption then disables your data through a public key. Upon completion, the hackers demand a bitcoin ransom to decrypt the coding through a private key. Similarly, the Trojan virus keeps sending warning reminders of a possible loss of files if you delay in buying the private key from the hackers.

Breaching the Security Walls

Surprisingly, the hackers can easily pass your security wall through emails, attachment downloads, and file sharing sites. Again, you can fall victim to a Cryptolocker attack through videos and other plug-ins from unsecured websites or blogs. The files in email attachments appear as regular files. For instance, they may be doc or pdf. Unknown to you, they do have an extension.

Once you open the files, the Trojan virus downloads in your drive. When this is happening, your computer goes on with its normal operations. You can only discover when your files are locked and encrypted. After the mission is through, hackers send in reminders of deleting your data if you do not pay up the bitcoins for the key. Most of the reminders have a countdown clock for the warning.

Precautions

cryptolocker bitcoin ransom

cryptolocker bitcoin ransom

Ideally, you can remove the Trojan virus from your computer system with many antivirus programs available. The catch here is, only the private key can decrypt the files. In the long run, most people resort to a more natural way out. They pay the ransom for the private key. Once the data is decrypted, they scan and delete the malware.

In protecting your computer network from hackers, you are the first line of defence. Yes, you may be getting a lot of traffic in your email. If you do not have a secure firewall, do not open email attachments from doubtful sources. This also extends to unfamiliar blogs, websites, or financial institutions. It is good to second confirm an email by calling the source if you were not expecting anything.

Again, scan all the emails and attachments that you get before opening them. The Rescue Utility Disk is the best option for starters. It helps you to copy data to a USB drive or other storage outside the shared drive. In case of any malfunctioning, you can still reboot your system through your external media. By doing this, you sanitize the computer of any virus.

Cryptolocker is a nightmare for any precious data you have. It is prudent to have reliable offline back up of your valuable files.

If you have been affected by the virus or know someone that has please leave a comment below.

Written by John Pititto on 08/11/2019.

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Stage 4: Restrictions Melbourne Metro

COVID-19 Stage 4 Overview

We are closely monitoring the situation daily and constantly revision and updating company policies and procedures to keep our staff, clients and the greater community safe. If any of our staff have any flu symptoms, they must cease work immediately and get tested while waiting for tests they are forced to stay at home and not permitted to leave for any reason what so ever. Thus far Australia wide as of 14 October 2020 we have had 6 technicians go in for testing, one in SA and five in Victoria all came back as negative, to our knowledge we have been responsible for zero community transmissions and zero COVID-19 cases. After dealing with virus outbreaks for the last 20 years we understand the social dynamics and life cycles of these epidemics. As an organisation have gone over and above the government regulations and are working on new technologies to keep serving our clients with the highest standards of quality and service long into this pandemic.

We would like to update you regarding the stage 4 restrictions imposed by Daniel Andrews government on the state of Victoria since Midnight 5th August 2020. We will be closely screening all clients that they are clear from any flu symptoms or been into contact with anyone that is confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. The great news is you can still get your computer fixed in Victoria, all other states are not affected and running as per normal, we have a number of flexible options for you;

1) Remote desktop support, for any software configuration issues we can log in remotely via the internet and fix them.

2) Contact-less computer repairs. We will book a time when a technician will come to your work or home, once the technician arrives they will call you. You are then required to put the equipment outside. The technician will take the equipment away assess it and then get back to you with some options for repairing it. Once the repairs are complete the technician will return the computer back to you.

3) Sendle - DIY send it in. You can book a Sendle pickup which we organise for the next business day. Simple call up and book the job, you then need to put your laptop in a box and we email you a shipping label. Attach the label to the box and a Sendle courier will pick it up from your work or home on the next business day. We will also arrange for delivery back to you once the computer is all fixed up.

4) Australia Post. You can register your details with us and then send your computer in for repairs. We can send it back once the machine is repaired and working like new again.

5) Onsite booking, this is only as a last resort if you need your computer as a primary communications tool or you need help with your NBN or VOIP phone. We can dispatch a technician with the full PPE outfit to you home or workplace to get you back online.

If you have any comments, concerns or feedback we would love to hear it, please email our biosecurity task force at [[email protected]].