Cryptolocker (Ransomware) – What is it? What are the risks? What can I do?


What is Cryptolocker?
Cryptolocker is the one of the latest forms of ramsomware to hit the computer highway. Since its release in October 2013, Cryptolocker has managed to infect over 250,000 PC’s and has been known to infect the entire network of many Small Medium Businesses (SMB’s). Cryptolocker is deployed and distributed through a combination of counterfeit emails and bogus websites, both of which imitate legitimate organisations. The ransomware causes havoc by encrypting the data on the target machine, making important documents inaccessible. After all data has been encrypted, Cryptolocker will prompt the user to make a payment (recently increased to £180/$300) in order to release their files. Although many users believe that paying the ransom is the remedy for this issue, there have been reports that in some cases, the files have not been decrypted after payment or their PC has been infected with the ransomware again shortly after.

Impact on Small Medium Businesses
In a business scenario, the consequences of Cryptolocker are far more severe as the volume of data that can be potentially lost is greater. Cryptolocker targets itself at businesses in the same way as it would individual machines, through illegitimate emails and fake websites. In a domain environment, a single infected machine opens the gateway for entire network infection, this means that all server data, mapped drives, cloud based plugins (Dropbox, Onedrive, Livedrive) would be held encrypted and held ransom against the business.

A few useful tips to avoid being put at risk of PC infections:
– Get a reputable anti-virus software package and ensure the security definitions are updated regularly.
– Ensure your PC is fully updated. It is important to run Windows Updates. Microsoft release security updates on a regular basis which help minimise the risk of your system being compromised.
– Do not click on adverts or pop ups that may appear whilst surfing the internet.
– Never open an email attachment if you do not recognise the sender.
– Never open a file from email or the web with the extension .exe.

What does Zenzero offer to protect me against Cryptolocker and other forms of infections?
Backup Solution – we offer a number of different backup solutions to meet your company’s needs, varying from online systems to traditional tape backup onsite. We work with industry leaders including Symantec, who use traditional physical media, and Storagecraft, which involves a modern technique of imaging. Our talented engineers configure Storagecraft to perform a series of incremental backups throughout the working day, before they are consolidated into a single image at the end on the day. The image created is encrypted with a key which is copied to a local storage device at your company site. In addition to this, the image created will be transferred and written to our secure data centre, ensuring that you always have a copy of your data away from your premises.

Managed Anti-Virus – The difference between our anti-virus solution and others you might find is the managed element. We centrally manage and monitor your anti-virus protection to ensure your systems have the most up-to-date defences possible. Any threats are instantly reported and assigned to an engineer to be resolved.

Implementing our managed anti-virus solution will protect your IT systems against security threats that could result in costly downtime or data corruption.
With viruses being created at an increasing rate, finding a reliable anti-virus system can be difficult. Our managed anti-virus system ensures your system is always up-to-date and should the worst happen, it significantly minimises unnecessary propagation.

Hosted Spam Filtering -Spam email is not just an annoying problem – it is a costly one that consumes resources, productivity and can also put you at risk of security threats. Without a spam filtering solution, your organisation could spend hours sifting through unwanted and potentially hazardous emails.
Spam filtering also provides additional protection against viruses, which can often be hidden in emails posing as relevant and harmless communication.

We use an industry leading solution that provides all our customers with enterprise-level protection so you can be confident you are adequately protected.

Ensuring legitimate email is safely delivered and threats are quickly discovered is critical to efficient business systems. To support this, our hosted spam filtering solution comes as standard in all support contracts.