If you spend any amount of time on the internet, and aren’t cautious, you could easy get some sort of malware that can’t wait to take apart your computer. Trojans, worms, viruses, spyware, crimeware, you name it, it’s gunning for your computer. Oftentimes people aren’t careful and get malware that eats up their computer. Then they have to go to a professional who does data recovery and computer repair. There are lots of data recovery shops in New Jersey; hopefully you won’t need them. Here are two of the latest big viruses and what they are doing. You’ll want to make sure your computer gets its flu shot, before it gets a virus.
There are two viruses that are extremely widespread right now. They are much worse than others, and will almost invariably require data recovery from a computer repair specialist. One is called CryptoLocker and the other is call FBI Virus.
The CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan that surfaced in September of 2013. It has been just over 6 months since it appeared, but it has ravaged many computers. CryptoLocker is a virus that hides in email attachments. This disguise makes it hard to detect. Once this virus activates it will encrypt all of your files. After they are thoroughly encrypted, it sends the user an alert informing them that they have only 96 hours to keep their files, unless they pay $300 in anonymous Bitcoin or MoneyPak ransom. This virus is very hard to block out, and it demands quite a substantial sum. Bitcoin and MoneyPak are impossible to track, which narrows the user’s options considerably, pay or go searching for a good data recovery technician.
There are only two ways to keep your files so that this ransomware can’t take them. That way is of course, not downloading it. Usually the CryptoLocker virus arrives as a .pdf or .docx attachment to a shipping notification email, or something similar. These files all look legitimate. Unfortunately what the user doesn’t know is that the attachment has a double-extension making it an executable file, like: .pdf.exe. There is a good program out there specifically made to defend against this virus. It’s called CryptoPrevent; it keeps your computer from downloading double-extension files. The other way to keep the ransomware from permanently encrypting or deleting your files is to make regular back-ups of your computer. If the CryptoLocker virus does attack, shut down the computer, that way the processes can’t keep going. Take it to a computer repair specialist that has great data recovery tools, and have it debugged and the operating system reinstalled. If you have a good back-up, you can put your files right back on.
The FBI Virus or FBI Moneypack scam is also a ransomware program. Though less serious, it seems much more official. Operated by hackers overseas, the FBI Virus starts in a popup window, sometimes displaying illicit images. When the user clicks out, it secretly downloads a file that locks the computer and displays a warning accompanied by the real FBI emblem. The message threatens to extort up to $450 from them within 72 hours, or else they will be prosecuted and lose their files. This is of course not from the FBI, but it looks legitimate. While the user sits dumbfounded, wondering what to do, the virus rifles through the computer looking for financial records, medical records passwords, and anything else of value. If not handled correctly, the user will most definitely need data recovery services.
The first step in staying safe from this virus is simply being aware. Know that it is out there, and that you should watch out for it. The next step is knowing what to do if it does happen. The best option is to shut down your computer immediately. When you are ready, power it on and press F8, which opens additional boot options. Choose “Safe Mode with Networking”. Once it has booted, open up your anti-malware software. If you don’t have any anti-malware software, download one, install it, and make sure it has the latest malware definitions. Malwarebytes is a good option, but you can try Norton, AVG, and Microsoft Security Essentials as well. When it is open, perform a full scan of the computer. It should find and quarantine all of the malware files. When they are all quarantined, use the removal tool to delete all the infectious files. When it is done deleting, perform a rescan just in case. If nothing shows up, restart your computer normally. If you don’t delete the files right away, they will collect or delete your data. Data recovery is a process that you don’t want to have to go through, even if it is done by a certified computer repair technician.
It doesn’t always matter how careful you are on the internet. Sometimes malware can get in regardless. Make sure your computer is ready to defend itself against these viruses, and keep a wary eye out for them. Just because there are some great data recovery specialists in New Jersey, doesn’t mean you should be careless on the internet.