Measures to Avoid Being Held for Ransom by CryptoLocker
Posted by Erick Russell
December 12, 2013
As mentioned in last month’s Cyber Law Tracker,
US-CERT (the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) identified a
malware campaign titled CryptoLocker, which is a new version of ransomware that
has been spreading through phony e-mails designed to resemble legitimate
In addition to updating its alert to include information about the effects of
CryptoLocker, US-CERT also included some recommendations about measures that
users and administrators could take to protect their computer networks from this
malware. We thought it might be helpful to list here some of the more common
prevention and mitigation tips that you might want to consider:
- Treat all unsolicited e-mails (especially those
from unknown senders) with caution and never click on links in these e-mails.
- Carefully read the terms and conditions before
agreeing to install third party programs or applications.
- Install a firewall to help protect against
unauthorized users accessing your system.
- Perform regular backups of all systems to limit
the impact of data and/or system loss.
- Maintain up-to-date anti-virus software and keep
your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches.
- Participate in routine vulnerability scanning to
identify where your system is vulnerable to malicious activity, and remedy
Immediately disconnect the infected system from
wireless or wired networks to prevent the malware from infecting any more files
on the network.
- Block all outbound traffic to external networks.
- If possible, determine if any of the infected
systems successfully connected to any site on the Internet and what
information, if any, was exposed.
- If identifying personal information has been
compromised, notify the relevant individuals.
- Consult with a reputable security expert to
assist in removing the malware.
- Change all online account passwords and network passwords
after removing the system from the network.
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