Don't pay for the attackers to take your computer for ransom!

Ransomware on your computer!

Over the years of dealing in fixing computers, I have been greeted with a phone call by a customer saying he cannot do anything on his computer unless he pays!? The real question is who does he pay? Which i thought someone took his computer off him and held if ransom unless he pays, but i never thought this could be done over the internet within his network or via an email attachment that he downloaded.

Who is behind it? Is it a company or an individual that expects you to pay them and the ransomware disappears off their computer? Having checked this for a few hours when the customer in question brought in his laptop with the software downloaded i thought there was control over the laptop by the cyber attacker, But after further investigation it seems it was simply malware/software installed which loads up a payment screen and locks all other programs and processes so you cannot use your computer. Of course I or the customer didn't go through with paying to unlock the computer so i found other ways to disable the software on start-up of the laptop and removing the ransomware from the computer completely after a few hours of work, the ransomware had been defeated and fully taken of the computer.

Since this i have only ever had one other ransomware on a desktop computer, it claimed to be the Police and that there was a fine that was outstanding and if they did not pay the computer would be locked and then taken away. To some computer users such as every day users like myself, our staff and people in our offices they would immediately think this was a scam and their computer had a virus, To the older generation who use their computers for checking deals online, shopping, online banking or finding an address on Google maps they would think this could be real. Maybe they went on a dodgy website and it was their fault so it's time to pay for their mistake! From all the customers we look after I’d like to think not one has thought this and would make sure to call us to ask first! The Police Ransomware was removed by us within 2 hours and a full scan; fix and computer check was completed on the desktop computer and returned back to the customer. We have secure ways of removing the ransomware and my main piece of advice is never, ever try and remove it yourself while still being connected to your home, work or public network. Turn your wireless off and unplug your Ethernet cable is the first bit of advice i would recommend to anyone first! Most computers are connected to a network at work, which a work connection could have 10's or 100's of computers/devices connected to it that being phones, computers, tablets and laptops. Unplug your internet connection from your computer right away! Don't affect any other users on the network possibly be affected by this ransomware!

It's become a more popular news story in the past 2 weeks with major companies, organisations and even governments in 50+ countries get affected by the Cyber Attackers installing their ransomware on networks and computers. If these big organisations are having difficulty stopping them what chance do you have if it happens to you? Don't let it happen and keep safe while surfing the web! Make sure that all secure websites such as online banking web pages use the https:// secure URL which should be registered under the bank you are using name. Never ever send your passwords to people you don't know over email, never click any links from banks or companies asking you to view attachments unless you are 100% sure it’s a company or individual that you are dealing with. Call them and ask if they emailed you, check that the email address is written correctly and no spelling mistakes in URL or email addresses. Always check with the individual or company you are paying that their bank details haven't changed if you receive a new email saying they have. These are just some of the methods used by cyber attackers that want your information and in the end result want your hard earned money and savings! Don't be the one who has a story to tell about cyber attackers and how they took over your life without never even meeting them face to face! Double and triple check when you are working online, always do a virus scan every other week to make sure you run a malware scan. You can download free software which is called 'Malware Bytes Free'. Check out our services page for seeing how we can help you today!

If you need help with any computer or device checks, just to make sure you know you haven't got malware or ransomware on your computer, or have any questions regarding this blog post please contact us today, call us on 0114 296 0035 or email info@directcomputers.co.uk