New CryptoWall Virus
It has been recently reported that there is a new version of the particularly nasty CryptoWall virus, version 3.0. This new virus is similar to previous versions in it’s behaviour, encrypting all files on the users PC rendering them unreadable. Generally when this virus strikes there are two options, the first option is to wipe the PC and restore all data from the most recent backup. The second option is to pay the ransom (usually several hundred US dollars) and hope that you get the encryption key to unlock your files again.
This new variant differs in the fact that it exploits the anonymous network known as the Invisible Internet Project to inject itself onto users PCs. An internet forum user on abovetopsecret.com posted the following account after being infected:
“Just thought I would draw everyone’s attention to a new iteration of the Cryptowall virus doing the rounds. My system was hit last night, somehow managed to skip right by my firewall and Malewarebytes Professional. Infected 6 hard drives(even external) and encrypted any and all txt, jpeg, pdf and other associated file formats with MPATTA encryption. It replaces said file types with MPATTA versions of them and deletes the originals. Cant even restore them using Shadowcopy. I have lost around 30-40Gb of personal information, family photographs and videos, all encrypted and to date essentially beyond repair.”
The best way to protect yourself from these new variants of CryptoWall is by ensuring you:
- Run a reputable Anti-Virus package with an up to date subscription.
- Perform regular backups, ensuring not to leave the backup drive connected to the PC. Ideally, backups should be performed across multiple drives.
- Do not use USB flash drives, external hard drives, DVDs etc. from sources you do not trust.
- Do not open e-mail attachments from senders you do not trust, often these viruses are transmitted via fake messages purporting to be from Australia Post etc. See our blog post regarding phishing which explains more about fake e-mails.
Taking these simple steps can greatly reduce the chance of an infection and also help to protect you should the worst happen.
Our computerCare service is designed to provide cutting edge protection against the latest online threats such as CryptoWall 3.0 through multiple layers of protection. Please contact us if you would like to know more.