Halloween is almost here. The time when we revel in scaring ourselves and others with spooky stories and films, safe in the realization that these hauntings and horrors can be confined to books and movie screens.
But sadly, there are some IT horror stories that are all too real.
We’ve discussed CryptoLocker before, and it’s still happening. And what better time to remind everyone of it than Halloween?
It’s a form of ransomware (there are others out there along with CryptoLocker like Torrent Locker, CryptoWall and more) – your files are encrypted and to decrypt them, you have to pay a ransom. Hundreds of dollars to get your files back and lingering resentment and uncertainty.
All kinds of companies and people have been held up by virtual robbers who’ve made a business out of this and the virus can spread throughout your network infecting and locking up files beyond the ones on the originally infected computer.
There’s very little that can be done to protect against it beyond reminding your employees and yourself to not go to any questionable sites or to click on any email links.
Better to be overly suspicious and cautious than have your entire system hijacked.
Your best option if you are infected is to have a good backup. Your IT company can burn (not literally of course though you may feel like it) the entire system and start from scratch.
Starting over is infinitely easier with a backup and devastatingly impossible without one. Without current backups, your best option is actually to pay the ransom.
You can listen to a story about the issue from NPR here.