A new type of Virus, a malicious software termed “ransomware”
I am sending out this warning, because I know some people are not as technically advanced as say Liz Quigley or Patty Eastburn are, and I don’t want anyone to get hit with a virus, especially one as bad as this one. I hope by sharing this information I can prevent most if not all of you from falling victim to this senseless crime.
A new type of malicious software termed “ransomware” is making its way around the internet. At least two versions named CryptoLocker or Cryporbit have been discovered in the last four months. This malware is particularly destructive because it essentially destroys documents on local and attached network drives by using encryption to render these files inaccessible. It then demands hundreds of dollars in payment to decrypt them.
The infection begins with an email attachment. The email will appear to come from a legitimate source such as LinkedIn, FedEx, or American Express. Inside the attachment is what appears to be a Word or PDF document, but it is not. It may also appear as other files, such as Word files, Excel files, Pictures, Music, Movies, Quickbooks files, PDFs, and other data. If double-clicked, the malware will begin encrypting documents. Once a file has been encrypted, the only way to recover it is to restore from backup.
I recommend being extremely cautious about opening ANY attachments received via email, but particularly .zip .doc .docx or .PDF attachments. Even if it appears legitimate, DO NOT open it if you are not expecting it to receive something. It might also be smart that If you are not sure if it is legitamate to open a NEW email and ask the person IF they sent you an email with the attachment.
I recomend saving ANY attachments sent in email to your Desktop, by right clicking on the file in your email, Selecting SAVE FILE AS, and saving it to your desk top. Then once on your desk top, you can right click on the file and select SCAN FILE with you anti-virus software.
There are a few good FREE antivirus softwares out there. They may prompt you to buy them occasionaly, but they are essentialy the same as the paid anti virus minus a few nice to have features. Here are two i have used, and recommend to anyone that asks.
Scroll down the page, and choose the Essential avast! Free Antivirus and click the Download button.
Look for the Green Button that says: AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014 FREE Download
When they expire, they usualy make it hard to find the button or Tiny Link that says, “Continue using the free version” Because they would like you to pay for it. I will leave that decision up to you, if you like it and think its worth it, Pay for it when it expires a year from now. If not, there is no harm in continuing using the free version. I have friend that have used the free versions for many years. But if you do not have an anti-virus software of some sort, eventually you will get a virus.
MORE INFORMATION ON RANSOMWARE CAN BE FOUND AT:
AVG AntiVirus Ransomware Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYVqJ0N0FDY
AVAST AntiVirus Ransomware Articles: https://blog.avast.com/tag/ransomware/
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