Managed IT Services Update: Ransomware Puts Australian Businesses on High Alert

Managed IT Services Update: Ransomware Puts Australian Businesses on High Alert

There’s a new malware in town and it is poised to wreak havoc on businesses across Australia.  Officially called Cryptowall 3.0, it is a new variant of the original Cryptowall virus that encrypts files, essentially rendering them useless.  Experts from various companies that offer managed IT services in Sydney are recommending for companies to ensure that any and all critical data are backed up to avoid having to pay the malicious creators of the virus, ranging from a few hundred dollars all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars, to have their encrypted data decrypted.

If your business is partnered up with a company that provides you with managed IT services in Sydney, now would be a good time to call them up for any additional information on how you can keep your business safe from an attack.

Cryptowall 3.0 uses an exploit kit that is capable of zeroing in and attacking vulnerabilities in such programs like Adobe Flash, Reader, Java, Silverlight and even Internet Explorer – programs that are present in most computers.

Once the attack is underway, the infected computer is redirected to the ransomware download page on Google Drive.  The malware is then automatically installed on the user’s computer which then searches for Microsoft Word documents and encrypts them, permanently deletes the original and then sends the user a notification that they need to pay a ransom to get their original, unencrypted files back.

It is important to note that paying the ransom does not protect your computer from yet another attack.  This is why most companies that are signed up to managed IT services in Sydney are advised to consistently back up their data so that restoration of the deleted data is possible without resorting to paying the ransom fee.

Tech experts from providers of managed IT services in Sydney have compiled a short list of what can be done to prevent a Cryptowall 3.0 attack:

  1. Ensure all programs on computers are updated to the latest versions.  Cryptowall 3.0 exploits vulnerabilities in older versions of software.
  2. Avoid browsing suspicious sites.
  3. Do not trust untrusted programs on your computer without getting clearance from your managed IT services provider.

Be careful in opening attachments or suspicious emails.  A great rule of thumb is, if you are not familiar with the sender, do not open the email.  Most companies that provide managed IT services in Sydney have protocols in place to protect their customers from such emails so it is best to check with them.