Alert: Ransomware are on the loose. Know what precautions you should take to prevent data loss

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A few weeks back we had informed our readers about CryptoLocker – a new type of a ransomware that has been let loose on the Internet. This post discusses some more important facts about this malware, and steps you must take to prevent it from affecting your computer.

What is a Ransomware?
A ransomware is a malicious program that freezes or locks up the victim’s computer, and makes it nonfunctional. The malware demands the victim to pay up a certain sum of money (ransom) to unlock the compromised machine. Because of this nature of demanding money and releasing the hijacked computer, this program is known as ransomware. Some ransomware also work by encrypting all your documents and data files and ask for ransom to decrypt the same.

What is CryptoLocker?
CryptoLocker is a type of ransomware that is actively spreading on Internet. After it invades the targeted machine, it starts encrypting all kinds of files on the machine such as images, videos, documents, presentations and spreadsheets. Once it has encrypted the files, it reveals itself in the form of a pay page. The page informs the user that the files on their computer have been encrypted. To recover the files, the user must purchase a private key. The typical ransom demanded by the CryptoLocker is $300. Also, the user has a limited time period to pay up the ransom, after which the private key will be destroyed and the hijacked files will be lost forever.

Cryptolocker_2

Unfortunately, once CryptoLocker has encrypted your files, there is no way to recover them until you have the private key. So, should you pay the ransom? We would like to go with a resounding and bold NO.

You are dealing with outright criminals here, who are extorting money from you. And there is no saying if they will hand over your files even after you have made the payment. Of course, the data that you have lost may be crucial. But, you can lose you data in several other ways.

There is one good news though. The files that are encrypted by CryptoLocker, are not accessed by the hackers. The files remain where they are – on your system, but in an encrypted form.

How Can you Prevent a CryptoLokcer Catastrophe?
Nothing would fit the scenario of CryptoLocker than the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”. That’s right! The only way you can recover from a CryptoLocker attack is to take the right precautions way before time. For your easy reference, we have outlined them for you:

• Backup is important, but with nefarious malware like CryptoLocker around, it can be lifesaver. The malware directly goes for your personal and important files. So, the loss of such files can only be managed with regular backups. Take backups of every file that is important to you and take the backup offline.

• Ensure that your computer is running an antivirus software that gives multilayered protection, and is always up to date. Understand the fact that, if your computer is already infected with a backdoor [a means of access to a computer program that bypasses security mechanisms], then it can be used by hackers to install CrytoLocker. So, using a reliable antivirus significantly reduces the risks of a CryptoLocker attack and that of other malware also.

• Same goes for your computer’s operating system, software, and browsers. Keep them patched and updated. This is another layer of precaution that you must take. Malware can gain entry into your computer via compromised websites, security holes in Internet browsers, and malicious software. And as mentioned, CryptoLocker only needs an existing malware in your system to make its entry.

• We strongly recommend you to avoid using administrator accounts for your daily work. A malware that attacks a high-privileged account can do irreparable damage. It is like somebody shooting you with your own gun that is fully loaded. Therefore, prefer using a typical user account (your gun that is empty or not fully loaded). For instructions on how to set up a new account with standard or low privileges, please follow these links, depending on the OS you are running: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP. [source: https://www.it.cornell.edu/]

• Because infected or compromised Web sites can also let CryptoLocker into your machine, it is a good idea to have the Sandbox protection feature. It is an advanced security feature formulated for safe browsing. Once the feature is activated, it takes your Internet browser into a virtual environment. While you browse inside the Sandbox, your PC’s operating system, memory locations, files, and other vital areas are screened away from the browser. So, even if any infection does take place, it will remain confined inside the virtual environment without affecting the real PC.

• CryptoLocker may also attack you in the form of email attachments. A simple way to avoid this risk, is to trash unsolicited and unwanted emails. Be particularly careful against unexpected emails that talk about lottery, unsent courier and those from banks and financial institutions.

Note: Recently we came across a new ransomware that goes by the name Anti-Child Porn Spam Protection. It states that the target’s computer is spamming links of child pornography Web sites. And it claims that it has encrypted the computer’s data, in order to protect the user, and others from such spams. This message is followed by their demand for a certain sum of money to get a password for recovering the data. Even in such cases, please do not pay any kind of money.

Given the increasing cases of ransomware and its variants, we urge our readers to strongly consider taking the precautionary measures listed in this post.

Rajiv Singha

Rajiv Singha

Follow @Singha_Ra

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Hrushi Sonar
Hrushi Sonar
7 years ago

Tank you Rajib sir for this new Ransomware info.

Regards,
Hrushi.

suyog
suyog
7 years ago

Becuse vires is also software we have to face such problem

Deepa
Deepa
7 years ago

Awesome information for ransomware

Bala
Bala
7 years ago

Hi Rajib,

Nice post and precautionary methods.

Could you please let me know whether quickheal will be above to prevent from this Ransomware? and If quickheal installed in my machine will I need to worry about this issue or need to take any precautionary method?

Regards,
Bala

Sunil
Sunil
7 years ago

Thanks for informing. It is really serious threat to the users of internet & we need to protect ourselves from such criminals.

Revant Mahajan
Revant Mahajan
7 years ago

thanks man for the info

Balachandran
Balachandran
7 years ago

Thanks Rajib. I am sure this will reduce huge embarrassment and increase productive hours.

keron
keron
7 years ago

Thanks
How do I get the sandbox facility ?
Does backup always have to be external ?
best wishes

Naman Jain
Naman Jain
7 years ago

thank u very much for such useful info.

Dr.R.Balasubramaniyan
Dr.R.Balasubramaniyan
7 years ago

Thanks for the timely alert and excellent information on certain Ransom-ware and Cryptol-okcer. You have really cautioned us on such internet theft of data. Thank you.

PK Mohanta
PK Mohanta
7 years ago

Well done Rajib Singha! Your sincere efforts are appreciable. All the best.

uday
uday
7 years ago

15days back i face the same problem ( child pron spam )my computer was totally locked . I need to format the laptop but i am using authentic anti-virus Quick-Heal software , i still do not understand how can it attack my pc even i am using this software and daily updated. is there any other option to eliminate format when such things occur? i shall be thankful if antivirus software and help us in this case without formatting c drive or pc.

thanks for the information

Prasant
Prasant
7 years ago

Very useful information, thanks for this..

May you tell me what is Sandbox ? Is it available on Quick Heal Total Security 2013 ? If yes, then how to enable this ?

Kainaaz Writer Bokdawalla
Kainaaz Writer Bokdawalla
7 years ago
Reply to  Rajib Singha

Hi Rajib,

Im using the original QH anti-virus but it’s the 2012 version, valid till 2015. When i clicked on Internet n Network n went on to the next click all i cud find was the ‘browsing protection’ option which was already on.. There is nothing listed there as ‘Browser Sandbox’ option. What do i have to do to get the Sandbox option?? Help!! Please..

Regards,
Kainaaz

Remo Faisal
Remo Faisal
7 years ago
Reply to  Rajib Singha

I’m using Quick Heal Total Security 2013. But there is no option like “Browser Stand-box” in Internet and Network. All the options available in Internet and Network are:
1. Firewall Protection
1. Browsing Protection
1. Malware Protection
1. Phishing Protection
1. News Alert
And all of the above options are already turned on!

Please tell me how to enable “Browser Standbox” now?

Remo Faisal
Remo Faisal
6 years ago
Reply to  Rajib Singha

No no.. There is no option like browser sandbox in my Total security 2013. All that options that are available I told u..

Why my version don’t support Browser Sandbox????

The current version of Total security 2013 that I’m having is: 14.00 (7.0.0.3)

Sagnik biswas
Sagnik biswas
7 years ago

is it affecting windows 8? and quickheal total security is able to manage this problem?

Sananda Banik
Sananda Banik
7 years ago

Can encryption of our drives prevent this Cryptolocker??Should we encrypt our files before such ransomware do???Is it possible fr such malware to re-encrypt our drives once we have totaly encrypted our drives f pc??

Gemar
Gemar
7 years ago

What if my PC or Android gets infected by CryptoLocker…?
What should i do.. ???
Does the present Quick Heal antivirus I am can help me to prevent the CryptoLocker….???

D. Suriyamoorthy
D. Suriyamoorthy
7 years ago

(1) You are exhorting us not to pay any money (ransom). Good, but even if we want, most Indians would not be able pay in dollars/euros/pounds because of remittance/currency restrictions. Payment by Indian Rupee cards are not accepted by American/European Banks. Payment from Indian Rupee Bank Accounts to foreign Banks dealing in dollars/euros/pounds are also not permitted.(2)Since the Robbers are getting the money through Bank accounts, are the Police of the related country/ies not able to catch them?–just a doubt!

Hitender kumar chandel
Hitender kumar chandel
7 years ago

thanks sir for this guidiance to me.

Ajeet Das
Ajeet Das
7 years ago

Thanks for your alert. But what QuickHeal is doing to protect our faith on quickHeal.

Sydney Weller
Sydney Weller
7 years ago

Thank you Sir,
for your valuable advice, I shall be more careful and try to backup my data so that I do not have to face the Ransomware situation. But I am very thankful to the Quick heal team for having given us the right protection against any internet bases abuse.
Thanks alot &keep up the good work,
Sydney Weller

thirumeni n
thirumeni n
7 years ago

Hai,

Two days in a row i found
Trojan agent.WD.cw6
File c:windowssystem32driversatapi.sys
And my system recovered from it by system restore process.
I want to know , why it was caused and how to prevent it.
Thank you for your information reg browser sandbox.

Vijay Sharma
Vijay Sharma
7 years ago

We are having a Quick Heal Anti Virus for Windows server but there is no for Browser Sandbox option. Then how to set it.

Thanks

Regards
Vijay Sharma

RAVI HARESHBHAI MAHETA
RAVI HARESHBHAI MAHETA
7 years ago

Quick heal is a really very good service

chander saddi
chander saddi
7 years ago

Dear Sir,

When i open the quick it is not open and gives a message of default brower
Chander

Manoj Patil
Manoj Patil
7 years ago

Dear Sir,
I m using Quick Heal Total Security 2012
I m following Ur given path as:
“Open Quick Heal
Click Internet & Network
Find the Browser Sandbox option
Turn it ON”
And I m unable to find d option of “Browser Sandbox”

Kindly guide Me…

manas panda
manas panda
7 years ago

Dear rajib ji

plz cler me how we protect to my laptop from this virous.
i have already installed guardian version(licences).

Ansumay Datta
Ansumay Datta
7 years ago

Very useful information.

sunil
sunil
7 years ago

thanks

Afzal Ali
Afzal Ali
7 years ago

hey rajib. thanks for your alert. I am using quick heal total security but can you tell me what is parental control,

amit
amit
7 years ago

Nice

Chaitanya
Chaitanya
7 years ago

Good In for mati on about cryptolo cke r.

Any one say when QuickHea. 2014 is out now ?…..

Nilesh Gudadhe
Nilesh Gudadhe
7 years ago

DOES SAND BOX AFFECTS SPEED OF BROWSING ?
AND THANK U FOR THE INFO

Mayank
Mayank
7 years ago

Hi rajiv,

Thanks for sharing very useful information with us but hackers can also see
your post our comments then they can do something new so please provide a safe link or website which will away from these types of haackers.

Thanks and regards-

Anil Mane
Anil Mane
7 years ago

Thanks For Providing Information

Keyur Zanzmera
Keyur Zanzmera
7 years ago

Hello,
I have done a problem of no Updating from 2nd August
And I can not Detect the threats..
Give me the best solution.
Please Help me someone

Prafull Mahajan
Prafull Mahajan
7 years ago

Thanks Rajib. I am using Quick Heal Total Security 2013 but i didn’t got the Browser Sandbox option in it. Please guide.

samar
samar
7 years ago

pls give me detailed information about ransomware

partha
partha
7 years ago

Rajiv, I am really not concerned about such virus attack Please let me help to do the stepwise instructions to protect my computer.waiting for help

Nyima Tsherin
Nyima Tsherin
7 years ago

…thank you for your interesting, valuable and precautionary suggestion about Ransomware.

santanu dutt
santanu dutt
7 years ago

This is as nice guidance to me , so i shall be aware of that also thank you as before doing /opening the suspected files you are alerting me. So QUICK HEAL is helping me daily .Thank you a lot.

santanu dutt
santanu dutt
7 years ago

nice guidance to me. thank you.

Vilas Borde
Vilas Borde
7 years ago

Thanks for alerting me. I am using QH antivirus. But I will take care. Once again thanks.

Shivanshu Minz
Shivanshu Minz
7 years ago

Thank You for this news. Can you suggest me some ways to protect my pc from ransomware. Please.

Salil Kulkarni
Salil Kulkarni
7 years ago

Thanks for the update. This is completely new word for me “Ransomware”
Thanks for the security tips too.

JUNAT
JUNAT
7 years ago

hi,sir

Udai Pal Singh
Udai Pal Singh
7 years ago

Thanks a lot!

Udai Pal Singh
Udai Pal Singh
7 years ago
Reply to  Udai Pal Singh

What should I have to do to prevent Ransomware?

Rahul Sunar
Rahul Sunar
7 years ago

Got something very crucial and new thing to learn.. It will prove to be very in important for me as well as for my fellow-being.. Thankyou

Wajid
Wajid
7 years ago

Sir,

My Quick heal antivirus is not taking update manually or automatic.It gives a message of error in space of disk. So please help me to resolve this problem.

Kaushal
Kaushal
7 years ago

hello Rajib sir, my quick heal internet security is saying-“Ransomware is on the loose.”Please tell me what does it mean and how to prevent it.

prem
prem
7 years ago

thank you,respected sir for your ransomware info

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