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The dangers of ransomware: Cryptowall 3.0 and others

Different types of malware have various threat levels and ways they can impact or extort unsuspecting victims. A recent Cyber Threat Alliance report found that the Cryptowall 3.0 ransomware, for instance, made more than $325 million for its developers since this version was released in January 2015, according to Silicon Angle contributor Duncan Riley.

There are at least 4,046 variants of the ransomware, and over 400,000 users have been infected. The researchers tried to trace payments and found that the malware doesn’t operate in a number of countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine, pointing to a potential point of origin.

Ransomware works like this: A malicious program infiltrates your system and shuts off access to programs, system capabilities and data. To resume control of the computer, people are forced to pay ransoms – sometimes large ones – for the malware to relinquish its hold. Usually, the money extracted is in the online currency Bitcoin. The unsettling thing about any kind of malware is that it is always evolving and finding new ways to infiltrate your computer systems.

“[A]ttackers have greatly improved on the scheme with the development of ransom cryptware, which encrypts your files using a private key that only the attacker possesses, instead of simply locking your keyboard or computer,” wrote Wired contributor Kim Zetter earlier this year.

It seems that computers don’t need to be connected to the Internet to suffer from an intrusion of malware, either. The Register’s John Leyden reported that a new type of malware encrypts files on infected Windows PCs without connecting to the Internet. Leyden noted that the lack of connectivity may make this type of ransomware more resistant to law enforcement efforts, meaning it may be difficult to deal with in the future.

How can Faronics help?

When it comes to your computer systems, you don’t want to cut corners. Therefore, to ensure that your equipment doesn’t get infected by this kind of malicious program, you need an effective firewall and anti-virus solution. Anti-malware products like Anti-Virus from Faronics could be the answer to the ransomware problem.

Anti-Virus is a layered security solution that provides comprehensive protection against various forms of malware, including ransomware, spyware and other viruses. Anti-Virus can be deployed on systems that have Deep Freeze installed, as well, increasing security even further by adding more layers.

Contact Faronics today for more information about our layered security products and to see how Deep Freeze could help you protect your company against ransomware like Cryptowall 3.0.

About The Author

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, expert on Reboot Restore Technology when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.

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