Cloud Backup Safeguards Against Dangerous Ransomware

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A dangerous new IT virus is targeting predominantly small and medium enterprises, warn experts at Taylor Made Computer Solutions (TMCS). Off-site cloud backup services are being recommended by the Fareham based firm to help keep critical data safe in the event of virus infection.

A dangerous new virus is targeting predominantly small and medium enterprises, warn experts at Taylor Made Computer Solutions (TMCS).

The Cryptolocker virus is attacking computer systems globally. It infected 12,000 US computers in one week.

So far most of the attacks have been aimed at the US but there have been incidences in the UK and other countries.

Taylor Made - a provider of IT solutions and cloud backup systems - believes the virus could pose a serious threat to UK businesses.

Cryptolocker infects computers through fake emails that impersonate recognised organisations such as logistics companies, banks and financial institutions.

Emails come with legitimate-looking attachments that appear to be correspondences related to the content of the message. Files include faxes, suspicious invoices and even voicemails.

But the purpose of the fake files is to install malicious malware.

Once installed on the target system, the virus encrypts files on the host machine and its local network. Users are then completely locked out of their files.

Cryptolocker is able to find and encrypt files within shared network drives, USB drives, external hard drives and network file shares.

Once infected, computers then display a splash screen with a countdown timer that demands a payment of £536 within three days to a third party payment site.

The message states that if payment is received within the time, the user will be issued a decryption key - if not then the files will be permanently destroyed.

Taylor Made is advising is firms hit by Cryptolocker to disconnect their infected computers from the network and internet immediately and to seek professional support.

Earlier this month the National Crime Agency (NCA) issued an official warning about Cryptolocker.

NCA officials are advising SMEs not to open emails or attachments that are not from trusted sources. No ransoms should be paid.

The NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit is “actively pursuing” organised crime groups committing this type of crime. It is working with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible.

But identifying the Cryptolocker perpetrators is proving a challenge as they are constantly changing the server the virus is being hosted on, making it hard to track.

Taylor Made has echoed the NCA’s recommendation not to pay random demands because there is no guarantee data will be saved.

The NCA has issued a number of recommendations (1) to help protect firms against the threat. User-created files should be backed up routinely and preserved off the network, they say.

One way to protect data is to back it up offsite. Increasingly companies are turning to online data backup solutions to insure their data and guarantee business continuity in these instances.

Taylor Made has created an online backup solution that allows businesses to save their data in multiple data centres in Hampshire.

Their cloud backup service, Securo Backup and Recovery, is powered by industry-leading software that allows IT administrators to choose from a range of flexible backup options tailored to their business.

In the event of a malicious malware infection such as the Cyrptolocker virus, data can be fully restored and businesses are protected from full data loss.

For more information on the Securo Backup and Recovery Solution, visit Taylor Made’s website or phone the sales team on 0845 241 9696.

For companies who have received any emails that look suspicious, Taylor Made recommend you contact their service desk on 01329 226 900.

(1) Alert: Mass Ransomware Spamming Event Targeting UK Computer Users, National Crime Agency, 15 November 2013

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Emma Downing
Taylor Made Computer Solutions

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