Paul Bush, Principal Consultant, OneSource Technology, Inc.
There’s a new piece of malware making its way around the Internet. The name depends on who you ask, but in most cases it’s called CryptoLocker. Instead of trying to spread itself thru your network, it simply finds the important files on your computer and network and encrypts them so you can’t access them. Files like Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and even photos. Then it gives you a window asking for ransom and offering to unencrypt your files. That’s it. Just blackmail. There’s no reasonable way to clean your files, your only choice is to restore them from a backup. What if you don’t have a backup? Well, that’s REAL BAD and a topic for another post. But how does it get here? From an attachment that you opened in your email. Currently it comes in as a zip file attached to an email claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau. But next time we see it, the email could appear to be from the IRS, a bank, or even from FEDEX. How do you protect yourself? Never. Never. Never open an attachment in an email if you’re not expecting it, regardless who it’s from. Even if it’s your brother. Ask yourself, why would the IRS be sending me a zip file? It won’t always be the IRS and it won’t always be a zip file. But if you let common sense guide you and don’t assume that attachment is safe, you’ll find you’re better off in the long run.