In early November of last year (2014) we told you about CryptoWall. A very nasty piece of malicious software that encrypts your files and holds them for ransom. Other than paying the ransom, the only way to get your files back is to restore them from a backup. But not just any backup. It has to be a backup that supports previous versions of files.
If you want to read all of the details about CryptoWall, check out our previous article at http://www.ct-cp.com/?p=1611.
The reason we are updating you on CryptoWall is that although it slacked off for a while, it has been having a resurgence lately. Primarily because it is now being spread by additional methods. One successful method that has been used to spread CryptoWall is through website advertisements. That is why we recommending installing Adblock Plus in all of your browsers. To do that, go to http://www.adblockplus.org using each browser you have on your system to install it. Those of our customers on our Security And Maintenance (SAM) plan don’t need to do this since we already did this for you. If you are not on our SAM plan and would like us to install this for you, please let us know. We can do that remotely.
The second pathway CryptoWall has been using to spread is through email. CryptoWall used email in the past as well, but now it’s much worse. Simply opening an email can infect your computer. And if you have a message preview, it can happen through that without even opening your email. That’s why we recommend turning off any sort of message preview in your email client. If you use Outlook, or Windows Live Mail, make sure a message is not displayed when you single-click on it. Make sure the preview pane is turned off. You will have to double-click to open and view an email, but it’s much safer. If you read your email online by going to outlook.com, gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, and so forth, then this particular problem does not apply to you. Only to email clients.
To summarize, to protect yourself from CryptoWall, install AdBlock Plus and turn off your email preview. Of course, this is in addition to the things we already outlined in the previous article. The most important of those is that you should have good, unexpired, up-to-date security software and you should have a good backup system that saves previous versions of files. We recommend Carbonite. If you would like to sign up for Carbonite, give us a call. It’s only $59.99/year.
We also recommend that you avoid using Internet Explorer and, instead, use Firefox or Chrome.
And if you want to be fully protected, you should consider signing up for our SAM plan. Not only does it provide maximum protection, if your computer does become infected, we’ll clean it up for free!
For more information on our Security And Maintenance plan, please see Managed Service Plans.