Ransomware Continues to Evolve


Ransomware has continued to evolve within the second quarter of 2016, with new variants popping up all over the place…

The ransomware epidemic is not slowing down anytime soon.  We saw first hand throughout the second quarter of 2016 the new ransomware viruses attacking PC users.  These new variants range from new versions of the Locky ransomware, Zepto, to Cerber simply becoming polymorphic.

This is not including the brand new strands that have been called Bart and MIRCOP, or the dynamic duo Petya and Mischa.  So as a society who has become increasingly dependent on computing, what do you do to protect yourself?

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) strongly advises using a whitelist security technology.  For personal uses, PC Matic home protection offers superior protection with advanced whitelisting technology.  For enterprise use, there is PC Matic Pro, which offers advanced security protection with proprietary whitelisting technology.

But what if it’s too late, and you’ve already become a victim of ransomware?  What do you do now?  We suggest following these five steps:

  1. Do not pay the ransom – If you do, you’re just giving the hackers a reason to keep hacking.  Use your backup files to restore your systems.  Again, don’t pay!!
  2. Inform the FBI – By informing the FBI they can investigate to potentially bring legal action against the hacker.  All cyber criminal activity should be reported to the federal IC3 agency.  You can file a complaint with them here.
  3. Notify your current security software company – You also MUST inform your security software company.  If they didn’t know they missed a malicious attack, they cannot stop it in the future.  Also, many anti-virus software companies share their blacklist, or the list of known bad files.  So by sharing it with your software company, they then share it with others; saving thousands of people from falling victim to the same attack that just got you.
  4. Educate yourselves and your employees – Many times we attend one training, or listen to one webinar and consider ourselves educated on the matter.  This cannot be further from the truth.  Continued education on current cyber security threats is imperative.  We recommend our friends at KnowBe4 for both personal and enterprise training on cyber security.  As always, all PC Matic home security subscribers are offered a free cyber security training through KnowBe4 as well.
  5. Reevaluate your security software protection – If your security software failed you, perhaps you should look for an alternative security option.  The world needs better security.  We got it.

To read the full PC Pitstop Second Quarter Report, you can do so here: PCPitstop-Quarterly_Report_Q2_2016

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