Hi folks, as we all know there are thousands upon thousands of viruses out there just waiting to infect our PC’s. Nearly everyone knows they need some sort of Anti-virus to protect their systems, be it free or the hassle-free, paid version! Up until recently I would have been advising people that the free anti-viruses out there like AVG or Avast are adequate enough, depending on what you are up to of course, but now after having 2 machines in, in the last week with this cryptolocker virus (ransomware), I am advising EVERYONE to get a good PAID anti-virus. It might cost you €40/50 for a decent one but could save you thousands in the long run.
This customer was running AVG free on a Windows XP machine. He uses the laptop for emails and work with only a small bit of browsing as he uses a tablet for most of his internet work. However he still managed to get infected with this encoder, most likely from an email he opened with an attachment, although he cannot remember doing so.
Every single file and picture has now been encrypted and it is 99.99% certain he will not unlock these files without paying a ransom. As you can see from above, the virus asks you to email an address with the ID of the code and they then email you back with the fee.
So I emailed them!
€800 EURO in Bitcoins (an internet currency so it can’t be traced)! I actually emailed them back after this, playing the sob story that all my children’s pictures over the years were on this and they came back and said they would do it for €700 and if I didn’t like that price, well tough! Now if the asking price had been around the €200 mark, I think he would have went for it. You might think that is stupid and he might as well be throwing his money away but when you think about it, it’s actually in the hackers interest to release the files as word would spread pretty quickly if they kept your money and they would only catch a handful of people.
Needless to say, the customer didn’t go for this but is now without 6 YEARS of files because of course he had no back-up (that’s another story/blog)! So now he starts all over again. Now can you just imagine the hardship he has in-front of him!!
So how do we prevent this?
Well having an up-to-date back-up is essential. We can advise you on all this and there are so many ways of doing this, from getting a monitored, scheduled, automated back-up to manually copy and pasting files yourself onto USB pens, hard drives or even using the free storage online, like Dropbox or Google Drive. It’s a lot easier than you think.
Here in Bridge PC Repair we use ESET Anti-Virus, I’ve used them all but I keep coming back to ESET. What I like about their software is how smoothly it runs in the background while getting the job done. Because they also have a presence here in Ireland, it’s easy to pick up the phone and talk to a technician.
No Anti-virus is 100% but ESET can prevent an attack from happening in the first place.
So there you go folks, you have been warned!
If you feel you may have been targeted by this or any other scam, please call us here in the office on 051 560767.
Please share with friends and family. Don’t let these criminals win.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ronan is the Director and brains behind Bridge PC Repair. With over ten years experience in the technology industry, sure he knows it all.
Contact Ronan: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tele: 051 560767