We have received reports of ransomware infections targeting both consumers and businesses. Ransomware is a type of malicious software primarily targeting Windows operating system users.
- Locks targeted operating system to limit or prevent it from being used until a ransom is paid, usually in BitCoins.
- Encrypts files on the targeted system, only releasing the decryption key to the target after the ransom is paid.
- Ransom note is left on the system containing instructions on how to pay the ransom and regain access to the system/files.
Ransomware will often use malicious email attachments disguised as invoices, energy bills or images to infect the targeted device. Other forms of ransomware include false security messages claiming malware on a user’s device. Fraudulent companies will claim they can clean the device for a price, but instead of honoring such claims, the user’s networks and devices become infected.
The following best practices will help protect you from ransomware attacks:
- Delete suspicious and/or unsolicited emails.
- Do not click on suspicious links, pop-ups, ads, images or videos online.
- Do not open suspicious attachments, especially those you are not expecting.
- Beware of “smishing” attempts. Smishing is an SMS (text message) phishing scam where the text message recipient is tricked into downloading malware or releasing personal information via their mobile phone.
- Back up important files on a regular basis to ensure your important documents can be recovered should your system be compromised
- Use computer security software that protects your system against viruses and spyware attacks, and be sure to update the definitions often.
If you ever suspect your personal or financial information may be at risk, please contact us for assistance protecting your accounts.