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Ransomware/Malware headaches
#1
Generally I am pretty good as sidestepping viruses and malware, and have more than one software package for preventing my getting infected.  But the latest version of malware, known as "Ransomware" has finally caught up with me.  And I can tell you that it is a beast, and hell to eliminate.  

I had just read an article last week about just this problem, and my PCWorld folks are going bonkers in warning everyone about it.   Nobody is safe from it.  Hospitals, businesses, and naturally individuals, are all targets.  Here is an article from The Atlantic, which talks about just this thing. 

You really have to read this entire article.  I'm serious!

Quote:The Extortionist in the Fridge

Modern hackers can do much more than steal. They can make their way into a laptop and turn on its webcam, monitor its keystrokes, or transform the device into an inanimate hunk of metal and plastic. They can even turn a machine against its owner, taking a device hostage and demanding money to return it.

Known as ransomware, the viruses that carry out these attacks are multiplying. Their methods have shifted throughout the years: Early versions threw up alarming messages, yelling that a user’s device has been overridden with malware and offering to clean it up, for a fee, with an antivirus software—all fake, of course. Today’s more sophisticated varieties take over a victim’s computer completely, locking up years of invaluable photos and sensitive documents and refusing to return them until a ransom is paid. Many strike by encrypting the contents of a computer or server, and demanding payment—usually a few hundred dollars worth of Bitcoin—to decrypt it again.

These attacks can be incredibly lucrative: One researcher found that a hacker made more than $1 million in a single day off of hapless users desperate for their data back. It’s a bit like thieves sneaking into your home, and rather than carting away the TV, stuffing your jewelry and electronics into an impenetrable trunk. Then they try to sell you the key.

And the game of "catchup" is in full swing.  The program with the best reputation, BitDefender, already has a free download for those wishing to save themselves from future intrusions.   My daily PCWorld email sent it to me.  

Free Bitdefender tool protects against ransomware infections: The tool tricks Locky, TeslaCrypt and CTB-Locker ransomware into believing that computers are already infected

Please take the time and bring yourself up to date with this threat.  And please download the free program.

Here's the question: Am I the only one here, who has contracted this malady already?  

[Image: bitdefender-ransomware-tool-100652914-large.png]
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#2
Here is a great example where even the Big Boys are vulnerable.

MedStar Health partially restores services after suspected ransomware attack

The organization was reportedly hit with the Samsam ransomware family
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#3
Hackers made impressive sucesses lately.
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#4
Here's more on this horrible situation.

Jigsaw crypto-ransomware deletes more files the longer you delay paying Malware researchers have released a tool that can decrypt files affected by the new threat.

[Image: jigsaw_ransomware_logo-100655592-large.jpg]

This entire thing is not going to get any better either.  If you don't take these threats seriously, you may well lose control of your computer, any time you least expect it.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
I don't know if any of you all are paying attention to this, other than Fred and myself, but if you are not taking this RansomWare thing seriously, you really need to start yesterday.  I have spend literally days now getting my HP computer straightened out.  I had to get hold of a three disc recover system and completely rewrite my hard drive with a factory installed Windows 7, along with all the BloatWare that came with my Pavilion.  That alone is a job just clearing out all the bloatware, which I have not done yet.  

But I now have the BitDefender anti-Ransomware at the top of the page.  That alone makes me feel better.  But that is just the beginning.  You also need to have something on either a disc, or on a thumb drive that will allow you to use with an emergency reboot, just in case it makes it through the defense.  I have just burned a copy of Windows Defender Offline.  Windows explains all about it right here in their MalWare Protection Center..

There are a lot of great "frequently asked questions" at the bottom of the page, that are worth studying.  Then they send you to a page where you can download and burn a copy of Windows Defender Offline. 

What is Windows Defender Offline

Burning a copy and having it around, just in case, is highly recommended.  I've already gotten mine burned and labeled.  Even though I have a suite of software, I also have Windows Defender installed on this computer as an added backup. 


Reinstalling my Windows program was only the beginning.  Since then, I have had to download ALL of my drivers and software from everybody, just to bring the computer back up to date.  I had over 250, that's right over two hundred and fifty, updates to install since all this came about.  What a pain in the ass I have had to go through just to reclaim my computer.   Gah

Please don't let this happen to you.  These MalWare folks are really getting serious about all this.  And its just one more reason why I am getting ready to go with Linux.  They don't have any of this trouble at all.  And I shudder to think of it happening to me again.  S11

[Image: Windows-Defender-How-and-Why-To-Use-It-480591-7.jpg]
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#6
You are right to warn us about that. It's been a long time I didn't make any back up (I don't have much professionaly thought) but I think I should ASAP. But I'm so lazy.... or I have too much work, should I say.
I usualy make my back ups on closed DVD. Against viruses it's safer IMO. But it takes a lot of time to burn dozen of DVD each month if you have that much. And you do have that much otherwise you wouldn't ahve a 1Tb Hard drive.
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#7
Why do you have to do all that Fred? Why not create a restore point by using a flash drive? You don't have to do it all the time.

Or you can also place your Windows program on a flash drive in case you need to do a "repair install". It will just rewrite Windows and leave your existing data in place.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#8
This just came in today from PCWorld.

New point-of-sale malware Multigrain steals card data over DNS  The malware was designed for stealth operation inside restricted PoS environments

Wow, things are getting very dangerous out there.  Obviously a malware program alone is not enough.  

That's why I also have a complete package system that can tune up my computers, have a good firewall, as well as combat viruses and malware.  But also there is this new need for something to protect against the Ransomware, like what I picked up earlier.  

I'm currently using two total packages.  One if my old standby, Avanquest/VCom SystemSuite Pro, which contains everything except the ransomware,....yet. The BitDefender Anti-Ransomware program is separate and silently working in the background.  This is my regular suite that is on most of my computers.

The other package is BitDefender Total Security 2016.  Its rated tops, but there are some things I don't like about it.  Its a bit too intrusive and tends to act like an irritable uncle.  I'm not sure I will want to renew when my year runs out.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#9
I just got this in today, from PCWorld email.  Its about Malware.  There is great advice on this, and well worth preparing for Before you run into a real problem.  

Your PC has malware! Here's how to remove it
Malware is designed to stay put. You should be able to get rid of the malicious code with these steps.

This is the first time I have heard of using a Linux malware remover program to clean up a Windows system, or verse visa.  That's interesting and something to check out more closely. 

Quote:Need something stronger? Malware designed for Windows is crippled in another OS, so try a Linux-based malware cleaner, booted from a DVD or a flash drive (See Chris Hoffman’s beginner’s guide for more information on Linux boot drives). I recommend either ESET SysRescue Live or Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10.

[Image: 0421-eset-prep-boot-drive-100653500-large.jpg]


The ESET SysRescue Live Windows program creates a bootable Linux drive for removing malware
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#10
I'm not worried about Windows. I worry about my files. If I lose my files, I'm realy pissed because there are things which will be lost forever. But if I lose Windows, I can always reinstall. Ok it takes time to reinstal, but there is nothing lost. I have the original installation disc so I'm ok. No re-installation disc, the Windows 8.1 disc which should reupgrade to W10 after install.
The problem is it can take months before I make a back up. I'm writing that now, but I'm not sure I'll do a back tomorrow, even. Sometimes I just make a copy on a usb flash drive, sometimes I burn a dvd or two.
I'm in the process of puting my favorite downloaded movies on DVD and music on audio CD (which I still do anyway for listening). Multimedia stuffs is what takes the most time because it takes a lot of DVDs. I could do copy on external drives but it's not much faster because, anyway I always want to re-sort things before copying.
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#11
I also feel safe with DVD back ups because it can't be erased as easily (I'v read that it's possible to erase an entire DVD while theoricaly you can't but I never experimented with this) and it's impossible to modify its content, to corrupt or encrypt a file or to duplicate a virus onto it while it's in the DVD writer. So If the files on a DVD have no virus, and the session is finalized, it's impossible that the DVD be infected or encrypted in the future. Whereas it's always possible on rewritable supports such as external HDDs and usb flash drives.
A ransomware could encrypt all your external storage devices once you connect them.
If a virus multiplied on one of your external drive and you didn't know it you may have even more troubles than with infections on your main HDD because once you connect it on a fresh system you get reinfected. Yet, I'm not sure it works like that or that easily, but it's my theory.

Currently I'm protected with Kaspersky Internet Security, which I bought for 14eur a year. I have no idea what it's worth. It seems to be a GUI for the existing windows defender + a few bells and whistles. It comes with Safe Money, which opens your browser in protected mode. I don't known what effect it has on hackers neither. But that's what I have for the moment. I'll see. So far no problem.
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#12
You can always include your exterior discs on your scans. I do that, but usually do it at night after I have gone to bed.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#13
Is anybody paying attention to this subject, other than Fred and myself?  

This is serious business, and unless you are completely protected, you don't have to go anywhere suspicious in order to get caught with Ransomware.  

[Image: petya_ransomware_logo_1-100652676-large.jpg]

Here's another article on this subject.

How to stop ransomware: Backup can protect you, but only if you do it right
A few simple precautions can keep ransomware from draining you of cash and dignity.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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