Ransomware is malware which encrypts your files with a password until you pay money to the hackers, i.e. a ransom to get your files back. “Clop” is one of the newest and most dangerous threats around. Why is this? It includes several features which helps it evade detection and help to "slip through" your security - especially if not up to date in all areas (hint: having just your antivirus up-to-date isn't enough)
It targets Microsoft Windows users. Read on to find out what it does and what to do...
Before it starts encrypting your files with a password (usually a very long and completely unguessable one) Clop ransomware blocks over 500 Windows processes and disables many Windows 10 applications. This including Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. Why is this a problem? Once infected, it is very difficult to run the programs you need to clean up the infection. Previously the removal of the virus was reasonably straight forward (it was the file recovery that was a nightmare) but now Clop is making even that a little tricky (not for us though, don't worry :) )
The Clop ransomware has been "improved" continually since its inception, now targeting entire networks — not just individual devices. It is available for any programmer who has a mind to edit and adjust it to their own evil purposes.
What can you do? Prepare! If you already have ransomware, and aren't ready, it's too late. Two things are key...
ONE - Security. Make sure your computer security is up-to-date - this includes four key areas.
a. Antivirus (we'd recommend Windows Defender, Malwarebytes or Eset) must be up-to-date.
b. Windows updates need to update also. Not doing theses is like turning the key on the lock but leaving it wide open.
c. Third Party Apps - make sure there is no weird applications or programs weird on your computer
d. You. You're the biggest security risk on your computer. Think twice (or three times) before you click on that link, open that email, or go to those dangerous websites. Remember, if it's too good to be true, it probably is! (Except our membership program which really IS too good - $79 for the life of the computer, for free comprehensive annual checkups? Yeah!)
TWO - Backup. Step one is key to preventing as much infection as possible, but it's probable that at some point in your life you will get infected with ransomware. At this point, there is ONLY ONE SOLUTION. Seriously. Well, you could pay the hackers, and hope they honour their word and give you your files back (hackers and other criminals are known for their honour, right?) but there is no guarantee. The solution, is to remove the virus and recover your computer from backup. No backup, no solution.
So....have you got a backup? Are you SURE it's working? Make sure. You'll be happy later.