In recent weeks the Tewksbury Police Department and Swedesboro school district have fallen victim to ransomware. ALL their network files were encrypted and a ransom was demanded for the decryption key. Swedesboro couldn’t do PAARC testing, sell school lunches, or do student grades. The superintendent said “We’re operating as we did in 1981”. The last I heard, the NJ State Police, Office of Homeland Security and FBI were all involved. The Tewksbury PD paid the ransom to get their files back. That’s right, the police department paid the ransom.
This is very serious, and it’s spreading.
See US-CERT’s alert on polymorphic downloaders. It’s dry and a bit long, but we really must protect ourselves if we care about our digital assets.
Neil Rubenking’s column shows that Windows Security Essentials and Windows Defender are not up to par when it comes to antivirus protection. There are many more effective free antivirus solutions available. PC Magazine’s choices are listed at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388652,00.asp
Think Windows’s Built-In Antivirus Will Keep You Safe? You’re Wrong
What do I do? Periodically, I replicate all our digital assets to an external hard drive. That drive is stored in a fireproof safe, unplugged and offline.
What should you do? I recommend you have two backup drives and switch them regularly. Always have one of them unplugged, infections can’t reach unplugged drives.
Let’s be careful out there!