A new computer virus, or ransomware, has been spreading through the Internet. This threat is being transmitted as an email attachment posing as an invoice or resume. Although we at ITConnexx have many layers of security, monitor evolving threats, and take significant steps to ensure a strong security posture, those with malicious intent are always trying to circumvent IT security.
The most recent ransomware to be found in “the wild” is called Locky. An email arrives with an invoice ore resume attachment in Microsoft Word format. Should you see an email like what you see below, please delete it immediately. If you are suspicious of the legitimacy of any email or attachment, please contact ITConnexx, your IT Department, or the partner you have in place for IT Support so we/they can evaluate it prior to you opening it and any attachments that may be contained.
Clicking on the attachment will download and execute the virus where it renames important file names by scrambling and appending a new file extension of .locky. It also encrypts those files with a decryption key that only the perpetrators have access too.
To unlock files it may be necessary to pay a ransom to receive the key to decrypt your files.
Tips for preventing Locky Ransomeware and Other Computer Threats
- Install antivirus application and keep them up-to-date
- Keep your Windows up-to- date
- Avoid questionable websites
- Never open email attachments from unknown sources
- Never click on pop-ups or ads, even on legitimate sites
- Avoid the known bad guys
- Run a reputable spyware scanner
- Don’t download software from unknown sources
- Read licensing agreements
- Delete web browser cookies
- Set browser security settings to at least Medium
- Install or use a hardware firewall
- If a virus alert pops-up when visiting a website, never click on it. Close it with Alt+F4 or Task Manager
- Don’t reinstall offending programs