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News : 'Cryptolocker' attacks across Hosted Desktop environment

'Cryptolocker' attacks across Hosted Desktop environment

Recently we have seen an influx in ‘Cryptolocker’ attacks across the Hosted Desktop environment and wish to reassure our customers as well as raise critical awareness of what Cryptolocker attacks are and how you can prevent them.

What is a cryptolocker attack?

A Cryptolocker is a program that encrypts data across a local PC or Server, spreading from folder to folder and systematically making files unreadable. Sometimes the files seem to be changed to .mp3 files or .txt files. What is common in these type of attacks is a number of ‘fingerprint’ files are left behind – sometimes text files or graphics files that indicate the following:

  1. Your files have been encrypted with RSA encryption and will be unable to be accessed without the decryption key
  2. This key is only available to you if you pay a ‘ransom’ using Bitcoin (a digital currency) to a specific website

The common consensus is that even if the ransom is paid, there are no guarantees that your data will be recoverable.

What can silver lining do?

Silver Lining’s Hosted Desktop and Email environment is protected by best-in-class antivirus, anti-malware and anti-cryptolocker software with experienced security experts on hand to help mitigate the issue. We also have Enterprise class backup solutions in place to recover any files that become encrypted using this method.

Unfortunately, the creators of Cryptolocker/Ransomware are getting more creative in the delivery of these programs and some instances have crept through email scanning or are present on legitimate websites.

What can i do?

We advise customers to exercise caution and care in opening files and emails from unrecognised senders however appearing legitimate (large County Councils/Universities/Investment Consultants/Banks seem to the primary sources of these infected emails).

Please be especially aware of emails that ‘draw you in’ the subject line – “Please read this CV/CV for your approval/Your invoice for item xxxxx” and intend you to open up a Word/PDF/Excel file – these are the primary sources of infection recently.

Also please ensure that you do not click on any “Please update your computer now” dialogue boxes that pop up when browsing websites and ensure that you have up to date antivirus software on your local machine if it has not been supplied by Silver Lining.

What if i become infected?

Please call Silver Lining support as soon as possible to inform us; we will undertake best endeavours to recover any files that have become encrypted as soon as possible to allow you to continue working and advise best on how to stop this happening moving forward.


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