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Warning: CryptoWall Targets Businesses and It’s Just as Nasty as Its Cousin, CryptoLocker

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In the wake of a ransomware takeover, it seems like the world can’t go a few months without some sort of data loss disaster occurring. The antics of hackers grow more dangerous and difficult to dodge, and IT departments have their hands full dealing with the fallout. What’s keeping you from contracting this ransomware, and how can you keep your business from suffering its consequences?

While Cryptolocker and its cousin Cryptowall aren’t new threats, they’re just as dangerous as they were when they were first introduced to the world. In case you missed the original memo concerning them, here are some facts that can help you understand how and why Cryptowall is still a major threat in today’s cyber security world.

About Cryptowall
Cryptowall is a variant of the Cryptolocker ransomware, which encrypts files on computers and demands a ransom for their secure return. Users must pay up if they want to regain access to their files, often in Bitcoin to keep the identity of the hackers anonymous. Additionally, hackers demand that the payments be made through the Tor anonymity network in an attempt to preserve their identities. This makes tracking down the hackers difficult at best. If the ransom isn’t paid within a time limit, the fee either goes up, or the decryption key becomes unobtainable.

Cryptowall is usually contracted through spam campaigns, exploit kits, compromised websites, and other types of malware. Cryptowall is found in infected attachments under the guise of invoices, fax reports, and other documents, that execute on download. Furthermore, more recent variants of Cryptowall are capable of turning infected computers into botnets, designed to spread Cryptowall to other machines. This is what has allowed it to spread so easily.

What’s the Difference Between CryptoLocker and CryptoWall?
First of all, CryptoLocker was supposedly knocked out of commission when the GameOver Zeus botnet was taken down last year. However, Cryptowall is only a variant of Cryptolocker, rather than a second coming of it. While studies have shown that Cryptowall isn’t nearly as profitable for hackers as Cryptolocker was, it’s still posing a major threat for businesses. Cryptowall doesn’t just infect a single workstation, either; it worms its way through your network affecting multiple workstations and your servers. This can be a nightmare to resolve, let alone the interruption to productivity it causes.

In terms of measuring the value of your data, all you need to know is that it’s invaluable, and you can rest assured that hackers are aware of this. That’s why they can get away with charging an exorbitant fee for giving businesses back their data. You shouldn’t have to deal with this headache, though. It’s bad enough that your organization has to experience the downtime from an incident like this, so don’t add insult to injury by giving in to these hackers’ demands.

Tektonic can help your business through these difficult times by offering security solutions to protect your business from the root cause of the problem: the spam and insecure connections that allow Cryptowall to spread in the first place. With a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution, you can take a four-pronged approach to your network security: a firewall to prevent threats from getting into your network, an antivirus to destroy detected threats, a content filtering solution to keep employees safe from threatening websites, and spam-blocking solution to ensure dangerous emails stay out of your inbox. Give us a call at (416) 256-9928 to learn more.

Date: September 25th, 2015, Author: Jorge Rojas

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