At CompuTime, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of Ransomware recently. Viruses are bad enough, scammers are terrible and we are certainly not discounting the trouble and upset it can cause when a user is attacked by a virus or is scammed. Lately, there is an awful virus that has ramped up to attack home users and businesses alike in the form of ransomware, DMA-Locker version 4.0. Previous versions of DMA-Locker were a challenge but they were fairly preventable and definitely fixable.
This version of DMA-Locker is a nasty version that has already affected many users and expected to affect many more. Family pictures, school papers, genealogy research, and tax records all lost due to an encryption virus can not only be a headache but also a heartache to home users. Lost data spreadsheets, customer files, accounting records, and project data can mean thousands of dollars in recovery and restoration for the business user. Either way, an encryption virus is no joke and not something anyone wants to have the misfortune of getting.
Knowing the Virus
Understanding this virus is important to users and how it can affect your computer and the data on the computer. In the past, the most common way to get an encryption virus on the computer was to open an email attachment that contained the virus. These were fairly combatable with a little technical knowhow and preventable simply by not opening attachments from unknown sources. Version 4.0 of DMA-Locker has been bumped up in its effect on users and its method of obtaining access to a computer.
DMA-Locker 4.0 is a ransomware that silently sneaks into your PC and makes it a disaster. How it works, once on your computer, DMA-Locker begins to search the hard drive for important and mostly used files and keeps going until all data saved on the hard drive has been encrypted. What’s worse, if you have any devices connected to the computer, that device will become encrypted as well! For businesses using servers, once the encryption is on the server, it can encrypt all shared files used on computers connected with that server. In addition, the encryption will also delete or encrypt back-ups and restore points on the server.
In previous versions of DMA-Locker, the virus mostly attacked the computer through attachments in email and worked in the background until data was encrypted. In this version, simply avoiding attachments won’t be enough any longer, although you should still be cautious of attachments, that hasn’t changed. In addition to attack by attachment, Trojan viruses are acting as a way in for this new version to attack. An easy way to put it, if you catch the flu, you want to avoid other people because your immunity is lowered and it becomes easier to catch other infections. The same holds true for a Trojan virus, once the computer is infected with a Trojan, it is easier for the DMA-Locker to invade your computer.
Standard antivirus software cannot prevent DMA-Locker from attacking your computer, however it is still important to keep a valid and up-to-date antivirus software on your computer. In large part, threats like DMA-Locker use weak spots in security systems to infiltrate systems. Disabled Firewalls and Security Settings may become a cause for getting DMA-Locker. It also applies to ignoring the need to update your antivirus. Without this defense line, the computer becomes extremely vulnerable to infections.
Safeguard Your Data
Getting an encryption virus is certainly a pain and will need intervention by qualified computer technician to clean up the infection. To save yourself some pain and trouble follow a common motto used by the techs of CompuTime. Save, save often, save in many places! It isn’t always enough for some companies to save on a single hard drive. Same goes for some home users, or home based businesses. Look into options, backing up on cloud storage or using multiple external devices are highly recommended. Remember to back-up your data often, once a week is usually enough for most home users but it is recommended to back-up your files whenever you make changes, especially when those file changes are important. Businesses should consider doing their back-ups more frequently, some might be best served by performing a daily back-up. If you are using an external hard drive, DO NOT LEAVE IT ATTACHED!! Only connect your hard drive when you wish to run a back-up, once complete, be sure to disconnect the hard drive. If an encryption virus gets on your computer while the back-up drive is attached, those files will be encrypted as well!
Fixing the Problem
If you find yourself to be a victim of an encryption virus or want to know more about protecting your data, CompuTime technicians are ready to help you. We offer both in-house services or can come to you to help with your problems. Our staff is happy to chat with you about your current setup to protect your files, or even on steps you can take to prevent the loss of data if tragedy does strike and wipe out the files on your computer. Give us a call to find out more about your options of repair or prevention and we will be happy to help you because our goal is to make technology easy for you!