I only write computer related articles for the Sons’ website when there is a serious security issue. A customer call me last night and said there was something wrong with their computer. When I checked it, I realized their computer had been infected with the CryptoWall virus! The CryptoWall virus is a program that encrypts ALL of the data (documents, pictures, videos – EVERYTHING!) on your computer. What is encryption? Simply put, encryption is the process of scrambling data so that it is unreadable without the password or key. In other words, your data is unreadable! All those family pictures are gone!
This infection will scramble EVERY data file on ANY any disk drive connected to you computer. If you have a USB drive, removable drives (DVD, etc), network driver, or even a DropBox mappings, it will scramble them also. In summary, if there is a drive letter on your computer it will be scanned for data files by CryptoWall.
Once it has encrypted all of your files, it will then display a message that contains instructions telling you how purchase the program to un-encrypt your data for a mere $500. The price increases to $1,000 if you do not pay within 7 days. This is a very dangerous virus!
At this point, you have three options:
- Pay the ransom
- Loose all of your data.
- Restore your data from your last backup. If you don’t have a backup, then you are limited to the above two choices.
CryptoWall is distributed via emails with ZIP attachments that contain executables that are disguised as PDF files. These PDF files pretend to be invoices, purchase orders, bills, complaints, or other business communications. When you double-click on the fake PDF, it will infect your computer with the CryptoWall.
How do you protect yourself or prevent your computer from being infected? It’s simple, do not open attachments from someone you do not know. If there is a possibility that the e-mail might be true, simply pick up your phone, call the company, and ask them.
Here are some additional article on the subject:
- Cryptowall ransomware information
- Cryptowall ransomware please help decrypt files
- Cryptowall what it is and how to protect your systems
- New cryptowall virus threatens
- Ransomware strikes again cryptowall