Ransomware is on the rise - How to stay safe!!

Keep your software security updated.

Don't click on unrecognized emails and websites.

Back up your files, and then disconnect the external hard drives.

NEVER, EVER click ANY links or download ANY attachments in any email you are not 100% sure is legit.

AJ Computers, LLC is here for you to help review ANY email, link, or attachment any time you feel something is suspicious. - Contact us for details on our IT Services!!

A good practice is to avoid hyperlinks when you can! If you get an email from “your bank” instead of clicking the link type the bank web address in your browser yourself.

Ransomware is on the rise!! Many small businesses ignore or put off network security and this decision could prove to be costly!! In my years in the IT field I have heard many people say things like “I don’t need antivirus, I only check email’ or “I don’t surf the web…” another excuse is “Antivirus slows my system down…” This way of thinking could lead to a serious virus, malware, or ransomware issue on your computer, laptop, or entire network!!

AJ Computers, LLC can ensure your email spam filter and firewall are up to date and set with the most effective rules and policies to help prevent any attacks but nothing is fool proof and the first line of defense is always the person in front of the computer!!

Please inform IT staff with any suspicion of a virus, malware, or ransomware… Time is everything!! In the event a PC or VM is infected IT could pull that machine off the network in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus or other malicious software.

Below is very useful information regarding the latest Ransomware issues occurring:

Media Information:

Ransomware Netting Cyber Criminals Millions of Dollars a Year

“This operating system has been locked for security reasons.” Many online users are still being confronted with similar messages to this. Malware called ransomware is to blame. The scam works by using malware to disable the victims’ computers until they pay a ransom to restore access. Cybercriminals often use social engineering tricks, such as displaying phony messages purporting to be from local law enforcement, to convince victims to pay up. Messages often include warnings such as, “You have browsed illicit material and must pay a fine.”

A rise in ransomware:

Norton by Symantec has witnessed an increase in the amount of professional cyber gangs using ransomware in the last two years. This fraudulent activity, designed to take over your computer and blackmail you for cash, has developed in the following ways:

After first emerging in Russia and Eastern Europe in 2009, ransomware has spread to Western Europe, the US and many other countries, causing high infection rates and a great deal of frustration for consumers. Professional cybergangs use intelligent malware which, once on your computer, identifies which country you live in (via your IP address) and presents the message in the local language with a logo of a local public authority.

The ransomware completely disables the device and is designed so that it seems that the only way to restore functionality is to pay the fine. This raises the chance of the consumer being tricked to pay the ransom.

Different variants of malware are being developed, and within those variants criminals vary the code slightly to help the malware get past security software. One of the most serious variants was detected 500,000 times in 18 days.

$33,600 in one day

Symantec experts analyzed how criminals monetize the scheme. In the month-long period the experts studied one specific attack in more detail. 2.9 per cent of compromised users paid out. This may seem like a small percentage, but it pays off for the criminals: