Omar's business got hit by ransomware the other day. His files were encrypted and the hackers demanded money to unlock it. Omar said they didn't pay it and now the data has been erased and their most recent backup is two weeks old. Leo says that their IT guy is terrible and has made little effort to protect them. They should have had a continuous backup with versioning. He also should train his employees to use proper online behavior so they aren't victims of it.
Bill's computer was bit by ransomware. His computer has been locked and encrypted and the hacker won't open it until he pays for it. Leo says the problem is that there's no guarantee they will unlock it or if they do, they can just lock him down again. There's not much he can do but format the hard drive and restore from a backup. But he shouldn't ever pay the ransom.
A Hollywood hospital was hacked a few weeks ago and was essentially unable to operate. The hackers demanded 40 Bitcoins, which comes to about $17,000. This is considered "ransomware," where the hackers get you to run malicious software through a bogus updater like Flash that appears to be legitimate. This malicious software encrypts all data and threatens to delete everything unless you comply with the demands within a certain time frame.
Greg is worried he's going to be nailed by Cyptowall. If he were to be infected, would he have some warning? Leo says you can sometimes see it happening, but it doesn't give you a warning. It's not instant though, in that it takes time to encrypt the data and if he has a hot backup, always backing up, the encrypted files can infect the backup. Having an offline backup will guard against that.
Ransomware topped the list of cyber threats in 2013, according to Malware Bytes. Chief of these was Cryptolocker, which encrypts your data and holds it ransom for $300. You have only 72 hours to pay up before the key to get your data back is lost forever. Leo says that even police stations have been bit by it and were forced to pay up.
Steve Gibson joins Leo to talk about a dangerous new virus called CyptoLocker. Steve says an alarming number of people are falling victim to it. CyptoLock locks out all user data files and uses strong encryption on them. Leo calls it ransomware, but this is at a new level. If you get bit, they will demand $300 from you in USD, Euros, or even BitCoin. You'll have 72 hours to send them the money and if you don't, they delete the key and your data is useless. There's no guarantee that even if you pay it, you'll get your files back.