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Important Crypto Malware Virus Warning

Important Crypto Malware Virus Warning

A Development article written by Phil G

There is a nasty virus called Crypto Malware Virus that is currently doing the rounds. The Virus encrypts all files that it can find and then charges a ransom to decrypt the files.

Why the Virus is so Dangerous

The virus can infect by a simple click by a staff member opening an attachment on a suspicious email. Then without any special permission or breaking network policies, the virus is run successfully. The malware is able to look at every data-related file that person had rights to and encrypts all files.

The software takes as much time as it needs to encrypt the files which could be days or even months. Once all the files are encrypted it only gives you 72 hours to pay the ransom before it destroys the encryption keys, meaning that you can never decrypt the files.

The virus does not reveal anything about its presence until all the damage is done and then only gives you a limited time to recover, thus you have no option but to pay the ransom.

What you can do to prevent the virus:

  • don't open email attachments that are suspect
  • don't open email attachments where you have not specifically asked the recipient to send you the files
  • don't click on links in emails (you must type the address)
  • don't go to banking sites (ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac, eBay or any other site from a link in an email)
  • don't click on links in emails where the grammar, spelling and image quality is poor
  • be extra careful - we are all busy trying to get things done for Christmas and this is when a small mistake is possible

In the case that your computer becomes infected with this virus/malware, there are very limited options and support available. The only option your business will have is to pay the ransom that will decrypt your files so you will be able to again gain access to information.

Future Prevention

Our recommendation is to back up files to another storage device and be extra careful when viewing emails.

Unfortunately there are no virus scanners or malware detection programs that detect this malware, and we don't expect to see one in the near future.

The following article is a good rundown of what can happen if someone makes a small mistake. View here.