Cryptowall 3.0 Virus: What You Need to Know

Lock up Cryptowall VirusCryptowall is a virus that encrypts computer files and then demands that a ransom be paid in order to unlock the files.  The virus first made its appearance in 2014 and it continues to wreak havoc.

Cryptowall has morphed yet again and this latest version – 3.0 — is even more ruthless in how it attacks.

The main way that the Cryptowall virus infiltrates networks is in an email attachment that is typically disguised as a pdf file and it can come from anyone and anywhere.

If it goes undetected, it will infect all of the computers in the network and then spread to computers outside of the network.

How to Tell if a Computer Has Been Infected by Cryptowall

When a computer is infected with the virus, the user will get a message when you try to open the attachment saying that your software does not support this type of file.

In addition, in folders where you may have files that are encrypted, you will see four files with the same names – help_decrypt – and each file will have a different file extension such as .txt, .html, etc.

How to Get Rid of the Cryptowall Virus

If this virus is identified, let Griffin Networks or your IT support person know right away.  Cryptowall must be addressed quickly.  As soon as you determine that a computer may be infected, disconnect it from the network and turn off the machine.  This is a very complex virus that is difficult to remove.

How Can Computers Be Protected from Viruses Such as Cryptowall?

The most important step you can take is to make sure that your computer / network has adequate protection.  You can do this by making sure all computers have the latest Microsoft Update patches and protecting all computers with an active antivirus software program that scans in real time.

In addition, as a standard practice, scan ALL email attachments with your antivirus BEFORE you open them.  You can do this by right clicking on the attachment or download and save the attachment to your desktop.  Once the attached file is saved to the desktop, right click on it and choose the option to scan it with your antivirus.  If the attached file is infected, the antivirus will quarantine the file.  If the file is not infected, the file is safe to open.

Finally, it is imperative that companies have an aggressive backup plan in place.  Often times, this is the only way you can recover from this and other viruses.

Rely on Griffin Networks for IT Solutions that Work.

The Griffin Networks team brings you a multi-faceted pool of talent to keep your critical data protected and recoverable.  Call Griffin Networks today at 301.921.0922.