Keep Yourself Secure from Ransomware

Back up your data

 Learn More

Use data back ups daily. It is best to use an external drive for back up support or a cloud-based system such as DropBox or Google Drive.

Education

 Learn More

I encourage you to use the KnowBe4 Cyber Security Training. There are options for both personal PC users, and corporate offices. Also, for anyone who has a PC Matic subscription, this training is FREE.

Application & OS Security

 Learn More

Update all software applications as soon as the updates become available. You can do this manually, or for home users PC Matic will do it for you. For business users, Tech Sentry Endpoint Suite includes a patch management feature.

Use a security software that implements whitelisting technology

 Learn More

Whitelisting only allows safe programs to execute effectively blocking ransomware, polymorphic viruses, advanced persistent threats (APTs) and zero-day attacks.

Ransomware is spreading across the U.S.

Fox News reports that there is a rash of ransomware hitting the United States. These attacks will only continue to grow in intensity and frequency and that's why we put together this Ransomware Survival Guide.

... and it's not just consumers being attacked. Corporations, small businesses and even government agencies are having their computer files held ransom - even local police!

Watch the video for a Fox News Special Report on Ransomware.


We're making a lot of progress, but like many other types of crimes... we're not there yet. It is still a problem. We clean up one, and another one shows up on the market."
RICHARD JACOBS / FBI Cyber Branch
RSS Feed Widget

History

Ransomware originated in 1989; however it wasn't until 2008 that the trend began to truly expand. It was then that the hackers were falsifying their identity's as the FBI demanding payment for a "fine" for "illegal activities". Unfortunately, the hackers learned how lucrative ransomware could potentially be and has been on the rise since. The last twelve months have shown the most growth in ransomware since origination in 1989.

Ransomware continues to increase in popularity for two reasons: 1). Victims are paying it 2). Advances in technology are making attacks easier. Regardless of the type of ransomware, the overall concept remains consistent - extort the PC user by encrypting their most important data.

Diagnosis

If you have the FBI virus or one of its variants, then any of the reputable security products including the free ones such as Malwarebytes should be able to remove the virus and restore normal computer operations.

If you are getting a Crypto message, it means that the encryption has already been completed and the files are now lost.

Crypto uses a sophisticated encryption technique and there is no known decryption tool. If you have a recent backup, then use the backup rather than pay the ransom.

Without a backup, the only option to recover the files
is to pay the ransom.

Ransom Payments

Ransomware demands payment in Bitcoins and the cost has been known to vary from $500 to $10,000. A heated debate in the security industry is whether ransoms should be paid. When the ransom is paid, it feeds the ecosystem almost guaranteeing that the attacks will increase in frequency and severity.

Businesses run larger risks than home computers. Business documents are more crucial to its operations than personal documents. Crypto variants encrypt files across a corporate network exponentially increasing the damage. Reports show that businesses are more likely to pay the ransom than consumers.

What should you do if infected by Ransomware?

Do Not Pay the Ransom

If at all possible, do not pay the ransom. By paying the ransom, you are feeding fuel to a fire that is already starting to get out of control. One of the reasons that you have become infected is because someone before you paid a ransom.

Contact the FBI

The FBI is the center point for ransomware infections and they need to understand how many people and organizations are being infected and the impact on our country.

Get the Sample

In all likelihood, you are running AV software and the ransomware bypassed their black list detections. That is until you, they had not yet encountered that particular strain of ransomware. Please find the sample or have a professional find the sample, and then give it to your blacklist AV vendor. They can add this sample to their black list so others can avoid being infected with this strain. Almost all anti virus vendors have sample sharing arrangements, so once you report it to your AV vendor, it is their responsibility to disseminate the sample to the other black lists.

PC Matic

PC Matic provides superior security protection over all security products, free or otherwise, on the market. On top of that, PC Matic keeps your computers running at peak performance even after years of use.

PC Matic icon