Be extremely careful of these viruses. They can completely destroy your critical business data and close your business quickly. We have seen cases where these viruses have spread over an entire network and caused serious damage. In one instance, the Cryptolocker virus wiped out a business client’s server, workstation and backup drive.
What are these viruses? What do they do?
Typically, they infect a server or workstation and encrypt all of the files and data on it. You will see a popup that your data has been locked up and you need to send a payment to receive a password to unlock it. Usually, you are given a time period to respond. Unfortunately, if you send a payment it is unlikely that you will receive a password. Instead, we have seen cases where the virus creators will even ask for more payments. Once your data has been locked, it is impossible to find the password. Usually, it is held on external servers that are very hard to track down.
How do you get these viruses?
Usually, the Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker viruses come through email links and attachments. Once you click on an attachment, the virus will begin to run and install itself. For this reason, it is very important that you do not open any links or attachments from unknown or suspicious senders.
What should you do if you see a message about your data being locked?
The best thing to do is to turn off your business computer immediately. Also, you can disconnect it from the Internet. The sooner you do this, the more likely your data will not be lost. We have seen cases where this message has popped up and clients have immediately turned the computer off. We have run some scans and removed these viruses. Fortunately, our business clients’ information has not been affected.
Malwarebytes is one of the best anti-malware programs we recommend to scan and remove the Gameover and Crypotlocker viruses. There are many other good software products out there which can remove them. If you have any doubt of what to do when you see these viruses, please consult an IT professional like Fast-teks Pro Business Solutions. We are experienced in virus, malware and adware removal and in providing small business IT services.
How do I protect myself from these viruses?
One of the best ways is to use a high quality anti-virus and make sure that it is always updated. AVG Anti-virus 2014 would be a good example. In addition to this, you should make sure that Windows, Java and Adobe are up-to-date. Malwarebytes offers a premium product which can working together with an anti-virus and prevent malware and virus files from installing. Also, we recommend a good email filter. AVG anti-virus comes with an email scanner.
Below, please refer to some valuable links related to the Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker viruses:
Malwarebytes Cryptolocker Virus Blog
Business Insider Cryptolocker Virus Article
F-Secure Gameover Zeus Information
Check out a AVG video about the Cryptolocker Virus:
About Nucleus Computer Services:
Through a team approach, we have been successfully providing IT services and solutions to small businesses in the Philadelphia area for years. Our service offering includes IT consulting, managed services, cloud computing, backup solutions and much more.