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What is Ransomware?
Posted by Don Raleigh III on 07 April 2016 10:51 AM

Credit Card Theft, Ransomware, and Phishing Scams.

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Many of us have been reading about what is going on in the credit card industry. From people using skimmers on gas station terminals to steal credit card information, to people sending you emails with odd attachments. Here is the article that the FBI relesaed, "Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them." Here are some examples of what these emails could look like. 

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If you notice, it has links that you can click on. This is called Social Engineering. It is not hacking, it is not coding, all it is is you giving the attackers your personal information. When you click on the buttons, and choose to accept the attacks its like stealing candy from a baby. If something seems off, or you're not sure what something is; dont do it. Once these attackers have your information they will go after your bank accounts, your credit lines, your identity, your families information as well as your clients identity. 

The team at Evolve Systems has seen everything from an email coming through stating that the user is required to appear in court the following for court duty and to view the case in a zip file, to emails saying that the FBI is investigating you and you needed to fill out information in a zip file. If you ever receive an email from the "government" that asks you to preform a task online, it is more than likely a malicious attack. Never open a .zip file unless you are completely positive you know what it contains. Sometimes, even personal contacts emails can be hacked, and will send you virus'. Here is a list of possible phishing scams that Indiana Univesrity has published. 

If you can take anything away from this, is that you need to back up your computers, not for if it happens, but for when it happens. "By backing up your operating system and all its contents to an air-gapped external hard drive every single day, you completely mitigate the risk of ransomware by circumventing the tool it uses to get you to pay up in the first place.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and contact me on LinkedIn and I would be more than happy to help direct you to how you can upload and secure your computer in the cloud, get you connected to those that can help when you think your computer is being attacked, and answer any questions on how you can protect yourself from credit card skimmers. 

Thank you!

-Don Raleigh III

Evolve Systems

 

Sources: 

https://kb.iu.edu/d/arsf 

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2015/january/ransomware-on-the-rise

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-ransomware-and-should-you-be-worried-about-it/

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