I want to keep you informed and protected.
Last week, a very malicious piece of malware was released, that affects Windows computers and servers. It’s called “Petya”.
The good news is if you’re a member of our Monitoring/Update, or Security service plans, we’ve made sure your computer is not vulnerable to this virus. (hint).
For the rest of you, here’s the lowdown.
This virus comes in an email (the most common attack point for all viruses/malware). If you click the attachment, and IF your Windows computer does not have a recent Microsoft update installed, the virus will encrypt not only your files, but your ENTIRE hard drive in a matter of minutes.
The fix? We have to erase your hard drive and reinstall Windows and every application, then restore your files from backup (if you don’t have backups, ALL your files will be lost).
The repair will cost a few hundred dollars. There is no way to recover the encrypted files, unless you pay the ransom demanded (and that may not work either).
Steps to protect yourself
1. Backup your files. Ideally, an online backup service (we like Carbonite), AND a portable hard drive that you connect to your computer only during backups (otherwise the virus could encrypt your local backups too!).
2. Keep your computers operating system AND other software (Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, etc.) updated.
3. Be very leery of opening ANY attachments in email, even if it comes from a friend. Why? Your friend’s computer/email could have been hacked and the bad guys are sending out viruses in their name.
3. NEVER respond to a phone call, or pop-up claiming that your computer has an issue and you must call/click to get the issue fixed. EVERY ONE of these is from a criminal/liar just trying to get your money.
4. As a service to our treasured clients (that’s you!), you can call or email us if you get a phone call/email/pop-up you don’t understand, and we will let you know if it’s legitimate.
And now for the best part-this service is complimentary (that means we won’t charge you). Please call us BEFORE you talk to the criminal/click the pop-up, etc. If you call after, they may have infected your computer, or taken your money.
As always, please give us a call if you have any questions or need our advice/services. 925-283-5666
PS, when you go on vacation, please do not post your vacation pictures and location until you get back. Criminals are using Facebook and other social media to track who’s away from their home, and burglarize you.
I hope you’re having a great summer!