What the best way to beat ransomware: prevent it and dont react

Recently in the news, the world has seen the largest attack via ransomware aimed at 150 countries across the globe. This has left thousands of companies crippled, organisations in distress - here in the UK the NHS was targeted, in Germany, Transporatation was another target the aim to upset. The security companies dont see any signs that it will change any time soon, if anything it will get worse.

If the media is anything to believe, blame starts with organisations such as American NSA, they have stock piled multiple bugs in the windows operating system. It seems to me they wanted to keep these bugs to themselves for attacks or intusion against foreign or home land computers. (Nice one lads, nothing like full disclosure).

As Microsoft wants to sell their operating system to governments around the world, they give over windows code to countries like USA, USSR, China etc so they can get their geeks to check out if it is secure, stable etc. Hence what whappened to the NSA, as far as i understand it, the NSA had a leak and hey presto developer tools and bugs were released to the world and now the result is the latest round of virus / malware infections - WanaCryT0r - so far this is the biggest in the history of the internet.

Types: There are a large range of type ranging from mildly ANNOYING to HOLY CRAP WTF IS GOING ON!!!

  • Scareware - pop up messages, rogue security software and tech support scams all along the lines of stating you have some sort of problem with your PC - click here to install this thing and make everything better!! - (yeah right). you may even get a phone call stating that " Im your ISP /Telecoms company or Microsoft and we have detected you have a PC has a problem, please go to this website and let me in to your PC so i can wreak havoc and charge you a large amount of money to fix things, but usually once let in you will keep having to pay them.
  • Screen Lockers - Screen is locked stating some Police force, FBI or another government organisation. They may also have a contact number - please dont ring it as this leads to another sort of phone scam where you think your phoning the real police - you are not.
  • Encrypting ransomware - This is nasty, if you see files in Documents or Desktop which have changed or when you double click it and your pc says - no, dont know what type of file this is, or you see a dialogue box which states give us £££ to get your stuff back - dont hesitate. 1. Turn your PC off. 2. Contact your local IT Specialist you trust. 3. Let them sort it out and NEVER EVER EVER PAY THE RANSOM - You are paying for the next version

Prevention

  1. Pay for a branded Antivirus / Internet Security Program - ESET, Kaspersky, Norton, McAfee etc.
  2. Use a malware scanner - Malwarebytes - scan weekly or monthly.
  3. Or maybe pay for Malwarebytes and you get a realtime scanner.

Social engineering plays a huge part in infecting computers. Education, if it sounds too good, it usually is.

Examples:

  1. Click here for a free Download.
  2. Popup states you are infected, "quick.. click here to remove it".
  3. Beware of links to graphic terrorist attack images, natural disasters or other tragedies.
  4. An e-mail from a friend appears asking for money as they are in trouble  - send £500 to free me etc.
  5. Facebook advert for funny cat video - cybercriminals collect information about our browsing habbits.
  6. Email message from facebook or BT Internet or Amazon etc, all stating you need to update this or that.
  7. Text message stating you have subscribed to this or that.

Before you click any of the above, ask your self this:

  • How does a advert know i have been infected. If a program takes 2-6 hours to scan my PC then how did the internet know in less than a second??
  • If it is FREE to download, does it cost when i run it? is it OPENSOURCE or FREEWARE ( Whats the difference ?)
  • Disasters are all bad, but can i trust the source of this advert?
  • Get your friends phone number and ring him/her and ask. Dont trust E-mail, they may have been hacked! Talking is good...
  • Dont respond to text massages about you have subscribed to this or that, contact your phone provider and state what message you have just had.

Above all else - The Internet is an amazing place, full of knowledge and things to do. Dont trust everything at first glance, be wary as there are people after your money with well thought out scams.

Contact us if you have any questons or thing you have been scammed. you wont be the first or last.

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