Sunday, March 1, 2015

I've heard of some more ransomware news the last few days from Valley News Live and from the BBB of Minnesota/North Dakota. What it's saying is what I had explained in my last blog post; be careful where you surf and click, and be quick if you think you may have ransomware.

Being careful where you surf and what you click on has become more important in the past few years, especially on smart phones. Smart phones are being targeted more and more since so many people use them and are more apt to click on a link in their phone then on their computer.
It used to be said that if you thought an email was spam or could direct you to a malicious site, you should just open it on your phone instead. But, since hackers are directing more of there malicious programs to smart phones and tablets, it is no longer safe to assume checking a link or email on your phone is safer than checking on your computer.

The best thing to do when finding an unfamiliar email from anywhere that you don't know, or link in an email from a trusted friend or colleague, is to send it to your spam folder or delete it right away. What I personally do if I see an email from a friend or family member that doesn't look right, I'll call them or send them a text message or instant message asking if they just sent me the email and the subject matter. If they say yes and what it is, then I will be more apt to take a look at it. Or, if I send out an email with a link to it that may look strange to someone else, I will message them saying that I just sent them an email with a link and that it is fine to trust it.
It may seem like an extra unneeded step, but I'd rather be safe than sorry, and so would the other person that your'e sending to. This is a huge problem in the enterprise environment and you all have probably gotten lectures at work about not clicking on any strange emails. Basically if you don't trust it, don't click on it.

Why am I talking so much about emails and links you ask? The reason is because so many times, the way that people get tricked or scammed into visiting a malicious website is from simply clicking on a link in an email or website, or popup for that matter. Just clicking on a link may not even look like it's doing anything bad. But, that link could download a malicious program and install it on your computer or phone without your knowledge and then be gathering information on you or anyone else who uses the device.

I'm including a link to a great security blog by Brian Krebs called "Krebs on Security". He has put together a graphic about the value of a 'hacked' PC. Here is the link: Value Of Hacked PC

I'm also including another link to the same site by Brian Krebs where he illustrates the hacked value of an email account. Please take a look and read to give yourself a refresher or first time look at what can be done with your email address if it is hacked. Here is the link: Value Of Hacked Email Address

Finally, I am letting you know that FM-IT Direct can remove the ransomware from your computer, or if it has gone too far, we can salvage what is remaining of the data that hasn't been encrypted yet.
If you have run into Ransomware on your computer, please call (701) 491-8750 to talk to me or go to the contacts page here and we'll figure out what the best route is to get your files and your computer back!