It’s called CryptoWall
I must warn some of you this blog post is going to be harsh in a way and might be a bit mean but this is no time to hold any punches.
I get maybe two or three emails a month about if this is real. Some of them are legit server maintenance notices to renewal notices for services. But there are times where there is a phishing scam that slips through the cracks of web filters and email blockers and they are dealt with accordingly. But now there is a new one that is starting to make a major impact.
It’s called CryptoWall. I know catchy. But this mother is nothing to mess around with. It will come through from fake Adobe Flash player or Java updates, either through email attachments or through web sites. SO DO NOT OPEN THAT EMAIL!!! Don’t open any email that you might not think is real. And BY ALL MEANS I DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT. You can see who is sending it to you through your inbox and you can write me a different email saying “Eric I have an email in my inbox from so and so and it’s asking me to renew, update ect ect”. That I will and can help you with. Because I can log into the server and see if you up for renewal fairly quickly.
Now what does Cryptowall do? Well once you are infected it locks up your files on your computer. Which means all of them you will not be able to open anything up. Then there will be a screen that pops up and is telling you that you can get them back after you pay a ransom of 500 to 700 dollars. Oh yeah you have a timer telling you that if you don’t do it in this allotted time those files are gone. Here is the pain in the ass about it, if you do decide to pay (which I strongly discourage) you have to pay in bitcoins which is not traced so no one can find these lovely people and put a stop to them. Plus if you do pay, you won’t be able to purchase enough bitcoin at one time to make the ransom because the bitcoin exchanges are aware of it and have put a cap of how much you can get at a time.
There are ways to try to fix it once you are infected but it’s going to long phone calls and a few tears. Hey, there is no shame in crying when your business is sitting on your computer and you got some ass hat is holding your entire computer hostage.
Oh I have very good anti-virus software on my computer and have my files on a backup drive? Firs we will go over backup’s, is it cloud based like dropbox or carbinite? If not it’s attached to a computer that is infected which in turn is not infected, how do you feel now? Google drive will give you 2GB free storage when you sign up for a gmail account. I would look into that, and if you need more it’s actually fairly cheap to add more space. I am not asking I am telling you back up your important files in something like that.
Now your anti-virus software, so what most of the time it will get beat because you didn’t update it. Plus it won’t stop this one sorry. It’s like having statue of a lion as your home security system, it will just sit there and stare at it as it just comes on in. So update that software that some kid in the Baltic’s or in a certain Asian country can beat in his or her sleep if that makes you sleep better at night. But for the love God please back up your files and disconnect that backup drive when you are not using it. And stop opening emails that you are not sure about because you don’t want to make that phone call and I don’t want to make that phone call when you send it to me. If you watch Vikings you will know that Wessex didn’t like that wrath either will you. (oh spoiler alert)