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What is Ransomware

 Ransomware is a type of malware that can be covertly installed on a computer without knowledge or intention of the user that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction. The cryptovirology form of the attack has ransomware systematically encrypt files on the system's hard drive, which becomes difficult or impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom for the decryption key. Other attacks may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying. Ransomware typically propagates as a Trojan, whose payload is disguised as a seemingly legitimate file.

It might also lock up your files with a *.crypted file extension

This is actually what just happened with a business client of ours. It locked up all of the workstation files as well as the shared files on the file server.

 How do you protect yourself?

If you are already a business client, or a residential client, we already have precautions in place. If you are on a monthly managed care plan, we take great precautions to make sure that your security is up to date. If you are a residential, or a business client NOT on an MMC plan with us, please make sure that your antivirus is up to date.

BACK UP your systems!

The easiest way to restore files is from an offsite backup like Carbonite. A local backup is good, but has the same chance to get infected as your computer does. But incremental, offsite backups are a cheap and easy solution. Always keep the login information written down and NOT saved on the computer (in case you get locked out).

Uh oh! I got infected! What do I do?

TURN OFF THE COMPUTER/SERVER AND CALL US RIGHT AWAY!

Do not attempt to fix it yourself. Do NOT call the number that they provide! Most of these issues are time-sensitive, and the faster you get it to us, the better the chances are that we can fix it for you.

OK so let's review:

Ransomware is real, and it's on the rise. Check your antivirus to make sure it's up to date. Make sure you have an OFFSITE backup solution in place and it's constantly backing up. If you get infected, turn off the machine ASAP and call us.

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