Recently, several of our customers’ computers have been infected the CryptoWall virus. Surprisingly, most did not have backups, and they lost *all* their documents, photos, videos, etc.
CryptoWall is a trojan hourse virus masking itself through the guise of a friendly email, e.g. “Hey, check out this new video!” Once run, it will encrypt the contents of your hard drive and leave you with a message something like this:
Your options are:
- Pay the ransom. The criminals behind this virus have shown that they will honor the terms of their “contract”. However, paying via Bitcoin is a project in and of itself.
- Try to decrypt the files. There are currently ways to do this for CryptoWall 1 and 2. However, CryptoWall 3 is out and there is no current way to decrypt your files except by paying the ransom.
- Clean the virus and restore from a backup — if you have a backup.
- Accept the loss and move on.
The point of this article is two-fold. First, we want our customers and friends to be aware of the virus. Stop and consider before clicking any old link in your email! Second, the virus underscores the need for valid backups. Even if you have a backup program, that is not enough. You need to ensure the backups are executing properly and backing up all the appropriate data.
If you are unsure or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!