Latest Malware Cyberscam Holds Your Hard Drive for Ransom

Feb 19 2014, 6:45pm CST | by

Latest Malware Cyberscam Holds Your Hard Drive for Ransom
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

While I was locked out of this site due to some malicious hacking, I had breakfast with a friend who is an expert on cyber security. His admonition: Everyone will be hacked, so get ready for it.

Remember the maxim “knowledge is power?” I’d like to amend that to say “information is capital.” The bits and bytes that cyberthieves are ripping off are worth billions on the black market.

There are sites where Social Security numbers and dates of birth are peddled. Credit card information is purloined. Medical data is stolen for vital identification numbers. This black market is a decentralized, 24/7 enterprise that respects no national boundaries, can’t be policed by armies and is growing by the minute.

The latest cyberscam that caught my eye goes one step further than theft: It holds your computer files for ransom. It’s like some brigand from a Third-World Country gains access to your hard drive, locks it up and demands money to unlock it. Normally, I’d say this was some kind of hoax, except that the FBI and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued a warning on this “Cryptolocker” scam:

* Cryptolocker is spread mostly through email and “drive-by” downloads.

* The email might look like a routine message from a legitimate company, like a tracking notice from a shipping company.

* If you click on the hyperlink in the email, Cryptolocker encrypts everything on your hard drive and in your shared folders.

* When the job is done, you get a “ransom note” demanding payment via Bitcoin or some other anonymous payment method.

* The criminals behind this malware say they’ll give you the encryption key if you pay, but they’re hardly trustworthy. And there’s no other way to unlock your files.

What can you do to avoid this crime?

* Regularly back up your files

* Don’t download anything you haven’t identified as something that’s legitimate.

* Don’t click on unknown links.

* Make sure your security software updates regularly.

* Don’t give out personal information unless it’s on an encrypted website.

* Change your passwords on a regular basis.

I’m  not saying that any one of these protective measures will fend off a hacking attack. I’ve been hacked numerous times and it’s no fun. But you can employ a number of safeguards that may slow these trolls down.

John F. Wasik is the author of Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist and 13 other books.  An investor protection advocate, he speaks and writes regularly on investing, economics and personal finance.

A Brief History of Apple Hacking

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

LawTech Europe Congress Announces E-Discovery Expert Jason R. Baron as a Keynote Speaker for its 2014 Event in Prague
LawTech Europe Congress is pleased to have Jason R. Baron as a Keynote Speaker for its 2014 event. Jason is an internationally recognized speaker and author on the preservation of electronic documents and will add substantial value to this conference on digital evidence, computer forensics, cyber security, and legal technology.
 
 
French Retail, Éditions Atlas Uses Fiorano SOA for Real-Time Enablement of Its Global Operations
London, United Kingdom, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Fiorano Software today announced that Éditions Atlas, a leading French retail company has deployed the Fiorano SOA platform to integrate applications across...
 
 
Lucintel Anticipates Global Flat Glass Industry to Reach $66.6 Billion by 2019
Irving, TX, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- The global flat glass industry is expected to reach an estimated $66.6 billion by 2019. The major drivers of flat glass are growth in automotive and construction industries....
 
 
Lucideon to Talk at the EAUC Annual Conference 2014
Lucideon, the sustainability assurance provider, is pleased to announce that it will be playing an engaging role at the 18th EAUC Annual Conference, as it leads an exchange session and showcases its wide range of sustainability assurance services. Known as the sustainability event of the year for the UK tertiary education sector, the event will take place on 7-9 May at Nottingham Trent University.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

LawTech Europe Congress Announces E-Discovery Expert Jason R. Baron as a Keynote Speaker for its 2014 Event in Prague
Prague, Czech Republic, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Jason R. Baron, Esq. is Of Counsel in the law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath, in Washington, D.C. As an internationally recognized speaker and author on the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lucintel Anticipates Global Flat Glass Industry to Reach $66.6 Billion by 2019
Irving, TX, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- The global flat glass industry is expected to reach an estimated $66.6 billion by 2019. The major drivers of flat glass are growth in automotive and construction industries....
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lucideon to Talk at the EAUC Annual Conference 2014
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Ann-Marie Cornall, Sales Consultant &#8211; Assurance and representative of the EAUC Member&#8217;s Advisory Council, will be running the exchange session...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Vietnamese Member of Russell Bedford International Rebrands as Russell Bedford KTC
London, United Kingdom, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- In line with a move towards greater use of global branding by firms in the Russell Bedford accounting network, KTC Audit & Business Advisory Co., Ltd., Russell...
Read more on Business Balla
 
ProofHub, Web-Based Project Management and Collaboration Software Rolls Off Its New and Improvised Calendar
Clifton, NJ, April 18, 2014 --(PR.com)-- To give teams a single place to track everything that&#8217;s going on at a glance, ProofHub has introduced its new calendar. A step towards bringing utmost simplicity and...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla