CryptoLocker, Takes your Files Hostage and Holds them for Ransom!!!

Crypto malwareRansomware is a type of malware that tries to extort money from you. CryptoLocker forcing you to pay hundreds of dollars to regain access to them. Malware is no longer created by teenagers, current malware is now produced by organized crime.

Ransomware may be more up-front, hook deep into your system. This malware could be bypassed, malware removal tools or just by reinstalling Windows.

Unfortunately, Ransomware is becoming more and more sophisticated. This is the latest examples, CryptoLocker, starts encrypting your personal files as soon as it gains access to your system, preventing access to the files without knowing the encryption key. CryptoLocker then displays a message informing you that your files have been locked with encryption and that you have just a few days to pay up. If you pay them $300, they’ll hand you the encryption key and you can recover your files. You can never be sure that the criminals will keep their end of the deal.

This type of malware is another good example of why backups are essential. You should regularly back up files to an external hard drive or a remote file storage server. If all your copies of your files are on your computer, malware that infects your computer could encrypt them all and restrict access or even delete them entirely.

How do you become infected with CryptoLocker

This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails would contain a zip attachment that when opened would infect the computer. These zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files as they have a PDF icon and are typically named something like FORM_101513.exe or FORM_101513.pdf.exe. Since Microsoft does not show extensions by default, they look like normal PDF files and people open them.

Avoid Ransomware

• Use a good antivirus product that will attempt to stop ransomware in its tracks. Antivirus programs are never perfect and you could be infected even if you run one, but it’s an important layer of defense.

• Avoid running suspicious files. Ransomware can arrive in .exe files attached to emails, from illicit websites containing pirated software, or anywhere else that malware comes from. Be alert and exercise caution over the files you download and run.

• Keep your software updated. Using an old version of your web browser, operating system, or a browser plugin can allow malware in through open security holes. If you have Java installed, you should probably uninstall it.

CryptoLocker is brutally efficient and smart. It just wants to get down to business and take your money. Holding your files hostage is an effective way to prevent removal by antivirus programs after it’s taken root, but CryptoLocker is much less scary if you have good backups.

 BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!!!

Windows 8.1 is Finally Here! And is Worth the Wait

windows_8.1Two days ago I started to download Windows 8.1 version of the operating system.

I have a surface Pro with Windows 8, and also a virtual copy of Windows 8 in virtual box.

Thursday afternoon I started the upgrade to 8.1 in virtualbox and ran into a little problem the windows store said my CPU was not compatible. I then began to search the problem upgrading Windows 8.1 and virtualbox and found out I just had to change the operating system version in virtualbox setting  to 8.1, went back to the window store and I was able to upgrade without any problems after that.

Friday morning I started on the surface Pro 8.1 upgrade, went to the window store and started to download, a short time later 8.1 was installed without any problems.

There was only two programs that I had a reinstall was avast free and sandboxie, and just minor Metro tile fixing I had to do.

But overall the upgrade was a success for me.

Some Things Technology Killed Off Good or Bad for US?

gravestoneToday, we carry smart phones, we no longer need public phones. Encyclopedia salesman was a big thing years ago, but today we have computers, smart phones and tablets to get all the information we need. CD’s and cassettes was big just a few years ago, but now theirs steaming music to there computers, smart phones and tablets. We no longer need to visit the bank to find out how much money we have. Technology does it all for us.

List what Technology Killed Off

01 – Public Phones
02 – CD’s and Cassettes
03 – The Rolodex
04 – Encyclopedias
05 – Classified ads in Newspapers
06 – Disposable Cameras
07 – Yard Sales
08 – Lining up to Pay Bills
09 – Planning Road Trips on Paper Maps
10 – Physical copies of the Yellow Pages
11 – Answering Machines
12 – Faxes
13 – Film Processing
14 – Buying or Reading Newspapers or Books
15 – PDAs

Is technology helping us or hurting us?

 

 

Warning: Microsoft will never call you, but scammers will!!!

Scam AlertYou get a phone call, claiming to be from Microsoft. That’s what happened to me this week I got a call on the phone somebody claiming that there working for Microsoft and notice I have problems on my computer. When he called he asked for me by name to make it more legitimate, I first played along with him, he was telling me my computer was infected and he could fix it for me. Then when he was going on I told him I am a computer repair tech and there is no way that a server can get information on my computer and send it to him. This is when I lost it and gave him hell for taking advantage of people that don’t know better, and I told him this is as far that I’m going to go with him and hung up.

Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know:

  • They take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • They can or make you install malicious software.
  • They could damage your computer by deleting system files.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Ask for your personal (password) information.

How to protect you from telephone tech support scams:

  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  •  Ask if there is a fee or subscription service.
  • Never give control of your computer to an unknown person over the phone.
  • You can take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support or anybody.
  • The best thing to do is just, hang up.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

For more information check out Alan Parekh Hacked Gadgets has fun with Computer Scammer called Global IT 3 Video’s.