image_locked_laptopFair warning – this post is somewhat lengthy but important in order to protect you from a potentially damaging new virus threat.

A new type of ransomware virus is on the loose. This type of threat encrypts your files so that you cannot access them. It then displays a webpage that completely covers your desktop (commonly called a “lock screen”). The encryption process is silent and you will not know you’ve been infected until the damage is done. The virus requires you to pay a ransom to unencrypt your files. This can and does include files stored on your file server, not just the infected computer. The only good solution is prevention: Don’t let it run in the first place.

The ransomware is currently showing up in emails with fake UPS/FedEx attachments. They warn of legal prosecution in an attempt to trick you into opening the attachments. New variants are be released; as a result, anti-virus software is not 100% effective. So be wary! Do not open suspicious attachments.
IT Radix can implement a computer security policy which can prevent programs such as this from running on user PCs. This computer security policy is not a standard configuration and does have the potential to cause legitimate programs to stop working. We are encouraging clients to test the computer security policy on one computer before rolling out on a wider scale. If you would like to consider implementing this computer security policy, please reply to this email and an IT Radix team member will contact you to discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks.

The next best option is to have a good backup, so that you can restore from it in the event you do get infected. If IT Radix is not managing your backup, we strongly encourage you to monitor your backup closely as this virus is extremely dangerous and effective. In more than one instance, we have had to restore from backups to recover data stored on file servers.

If you do become infected, we do not recommend paying the “fine” that is displayed. Paying the ransom won’t necessarily return your computer and files to a usable state. The threats of prosecution do not come from a legitimate authority.

Please take a moment to educate your staff about this type of virus or ransomware. It is very effective—fooling even the most discerning users and the potential damage to your business is significant.

As always, feel free to call us if you have any questions or concerns.