Whether we acknowledge it or not, cyber security should be an essential component of our everyday lives. Most of us use computers for both professional and private purposes. With the many different types of computer viruses and malware, flawless IT security should be a top priority for businesses and individuals alike. Fortunately, there are some proved methods to get rid of malware.
What is malware and how it can affect your computer and files
Malware (short for malicious software) is a term used to describe any kind of malicious and intrusive software. All kinds of viruses, trojans, adware or spyware are considered malware. Malware is most often installed without the knowledge or permission of the person using a computer. There are several different types of malware and all of them affect the computer and its files in a different way.
Computer viruses are programs that spread into the computer by installing copies of themselves in other directories, programs and files. Viruses often steal hard disk space and access and leak private information. Some viruses are just annoying, while others can render the computer completely useless.
Computer worms are malware that spreads like a virus. But, worms don’t need a computer program to spread and multiply. Most worms use an inadequately secured computer network to nest. They usually cause heavy damage to the network. Worms can also modify and corrupt computer files.
A Trojan horse is a malicious program that represents itself as useful and harmless in order to trick the victim into installing it. Trojans are most often spread via social networking platforms. Trojans can modify or delete files, steal and abuse resources like personal identity or electronic money, and spy on the user. Trojans spread malware across other computers using the same network.
Ransomware is access-restrictive malware. As its name suggests, ransomeware demands the user to pay a certain sum in order to regain access and remove the restriction. Ransomware systematically encrypts files and blackmails the user to pay a ransom in order to regain access to their data.
Spyware is software that collects information about a person or a company without their knowledge. Spyware is one of the most dangerous types of malware these days. Spyware is used to track users and all of their data, which may then be abused in a variety of nefarious ways.
Although not as malicious as its malware counterparts, adware still represents a threat. Adware is a type of malware which interrupts the user’s activities in order to display all kinds of advertisements. Adware can also act as spyware, observing the user’s activities and using that data to display unwanted advertisements.
Scareware is a malware type that mostly relies on social media networking to manipulate the user into buying unwanted and unnecessary software. Scareware typically plays on people’s emotions, causing shock, threat or anxiety in order to persuade them to buy unnecessary software.
The CryptoLocker malware
CryptoLocker is malware that belongs to two categories. CryptoLocker is both ransomware and a trojan. It is believed that CryptoLocker first appeared online on September 5, 2013. CryptoLocker is malware that targets computers running the most widespread operating system in the world – Microsoft Windows.
What is CryptoLocker and how it works
Since CryptoLocker is ransomware, as well as trojan malware, it’s twice as malicious as most malware types. The CryptoLocker malware usually gains access to the computer via email attachments or routine network communication between two computers. CryptoLocker replicates itself across the hard disk, infecting different programs, files and directories.
Upon activation, CryptoLocker encrypts files that are stored or connected to the infected computer. This malware uses cryptographic algorithms to encrypt files. CryptoLocker uses the RSA cryptosystem. The private decryption key can only be found on the malware’s control servers.
Encrypted files and ransom
After CryptoLocker encrypts certain computer files, it displays a message offering to decrypt the files in exchange for a ransom. The malware asks for a payment either in bitcoins or a cash voucher so that no information on the money recipient is revealed.
The malware usually states a deadline for the ransom transaction. The CryptoLocker malware typically threatens to delete the decryption key and leave the files encrypted for good if the ransom deadline is not met.
Getting rid of CryptoLocker
Even though CryptoLocker can be easily removed, the files it has already encrypted will remain locked for the user. There have been numerous debates on whether the ransom should be paid or not. In some cases, paying the ransom can seem like the only way to regain access to the encrypted files. However, there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted and that CryptoLocker won’t ask for even more money.
Prevention is the best safeguard against CryptoLocker and similar malware. There are several things you can do to prevent a breakdown of your computer and encryption or loss of files.
- Regularly back up your files
- Have a full-version updated antivirus solution
- Be careful about opening links or attachments from unfamiliar sources
Get rid of malware and prevent dangerous computer infections with Inspired Techs
Inspired Techs is an Australian IT company that provides a wide range of IT and computing services. Our company was founded by Leon Black, a passionate computer enthusiast with skills and knowledge in every computing related sphere. Leon Black is also a winner of the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards program.
We are equipped with a knowledgeable and proficient team that can take care of all your computer and IT problems. Whether you’re an individual or a representative of a company, we, at Inspired Techs, can provide assistance and solutions to resolve your issues. We not only help you get rid of malware, but we also show you how to protect yourself in the future.
Here are some of the services we can provide for you or your company on an ongoing basis:
|Virus, spam, and malware removal||Security assessments|
|Firewall||Company security policies|
Data security is of unquestionable importance. It’s much better to prevent security mishaps than expose your files and sensitive information to risk. Whenever you want to get rid of malware, we can provide the services you need.
Reduce your risk of infection
Our managed clients have experienced a 95% decrease of infections from malicious programs thanks to our proactive solution. Contact us to find out how we can provide your business with a better end result!