You probably already know that computer viruses can wreak havoc on your system and leave you wanting to pull your hair out. However, you may not know that they can even hold your computer hostage. It’s called ransomware and it’s becoming a big problem for many unsuspecting users. It has become such an issue, that even political figures have started taking notice. The attorney general of Connecticut, George Jepsen, posted a news release on the state website (www.ct.gov) warning of this one specific concern and it
So, just what is ransomware? How could it be a problem for you?
Essentially, this type of virus presents you with a threat. Your computer will come up with a pop-up window or web page that states there has been illegal activity on your system or that your system is under attack. Then, it will request that you pay a fee to access your computer again – because the threat seems so real, you may not think that computer repair companies will be able to help you either. Thanks to numerous different online funding sources, like Bitcoin and Moneypak, these programs are able to get money more easily than ever before. Essentially, the victim (you) would be left with a computer that doesn’t work and you will have no clue what to do other than pay the fee.
Ransomware in the News
Just recently, a new version of ransomware hit the news because it affected more than 5,000 computer users. Called SynoLocker, this ransomware indicates that the only way someone can access their accounts on certain websites is to purchase and use a decryption key.
The virus asks users to pay a hefty sum of $350 in United States funds or 0.6 in Bitcoin so that they can purchase the key they need to access their information. There is a countdown timer that indicates users have only a certain amount of time to get a decryption key and use it.
This particular virus is attacking people who use Synology NAS devices, which are attached storage systems. That doesn’t mean you are totally safe if you do not use this type of equipment. That’s because this is just one example of many ransomware viruses out there, and criminals like to target individuals who may be more susceptible to threats and who may not know that computer support will be able to do anything about the issue.
Some ransomware viruses, like ZeroLocker, will indicate that your files have been deleted, including pictures, documents, and anything else. They then request that you pay to have your files rescued through their “helpful” recovery service. They charge $300 up front when the computer is first held ransom, but the number continually goes up after five days.
The problem with ZeroLocker and similar ransomware programs is that they encrypt your files and then offer to help you get your computer back. It’s a whole racket that creates a situation in which you believe someone is actually helping you with a problem. They are even “kind” enough to include their Bitcoin address right on the pop-up window so that users can easily make a payment.
Ransomware is becoming a bigger problem as hackers develop more creative programs. Your best defense is to have proper antivirus software on your system and to have professional computer help look at it if you have any concerns. If, for any reason, you believe there is ransomware on your system or you have any worries over computer viruses, be sure to contact computer-help.com and we can provide you with computer support. We will be glad to help you handle any virus issues you may face.