Cryptowall has been the most lucrative virus for its creators in the history of malware. In January of 2015 Cryptowall 3.0 was released and has netted nearly $325 million for the criminals to date and there have been over 400,000 attempts at infection.
If that weren’t enough, Cryptowall 4.0 has been released. The biggest difference for those that have the misfortune of getting infected is the ransom required to get the encryption key needed to decrypt your files. The ransom is up from $300 to a whopping $700 for the new version. Another change noticed is when your files are encrypted by the virus the file names are changed to random, meaningless names. This is supposed to make the victim more likely to pay because it appears there is more damage. This may sound a little strange until you see that the criminals are trying to make the infection look like they are doing you a favor by congratulating and welcoming you to the Cryptowall community. Thanks, but I’d rather not join.
While all this sounds melodramatic, there are some things you can do to prevent infection. First, do not open any email attachments that you are unsure of. The most prolific way this malware is spread is through infected email attachments. Second, have adequate virus protection on your computer. Our Complete Care package includes commercial grade antivirus that protects your computer in real time. This does not protect against new zero day variants, but this is where the third suggestion comes in. Always have a good backup plan in place. We have several backup options available to fit every need.
If you’re thinking this is meant to scare you you’re right. With chances of infection in the US around 1 in 500, there is a fair chance you will be infected or know someone that has. This is a call to action to review your security and backup plan. Don’t wait.
As always, if you have any questions call us or send an email.
ES- Owner/operator of Computer Troubleshooters MB