February 2016 – Technical Information
A good back-up is the best medicine for the Cryptowall virus
By Steve Erlbacher, Technical Support Specialist
The MACC Technical Support Team has seen an increase in the cases of the Cryptowall virus. With this trend in mind, I want to pass on more information on the virus and discuss the importance of server back-ups.
The fourth version of Cryptowall is now spreading and the bug has certainly become more difficult to recover from without a loss of data. This virus affects workstations and is most commonly spread by infected e-mails which closely resemble legitimate messages or websites. If Cryptowall makes it to your computer, it will begin a high-level encryption of your files and file names. The virus does this by reaching out to mapped drives and it commonly affects your home folder, plus Customer Master shared folders on the server. It leaves behind useless files that are just a jumble of letters and numbers. It may also change file extensions that determine what program is used to open the document. In this case, your computer may present you with a prompt that asks how to open your files as it doesn’t recognized the extensions left by the virus.
The Cryptowall virus can be a major issue. In the majority of the cases we have seen to this point there has been little loss of data due to clients having a solid back up. Unfortunately, a few companies were not as lucky and have lost important data.
So what constitutes a solid back-up that can rescue your files if they’re attacked by the Cryptowall virus? This can really depend on what data you have saved, but ideally it would mean a backup of the entire server. This back-up should include each user’s files. Encouraging everyone to save files to the server is the best way to ensure important data can be recovered in case the Cryptowall virus strikes your company. In most instances, saving to the server is usually done through home folders. The bottom line is if a file is on the server and backed up, it can be recovered. When recovering from this virus, file recovery is the best solution.
Backups can be done in different ways depending on your needs. We encourage you to have a backup and ensure it is working daily. This includes changing your tapes daily and storing the tapes in a safe location.
To eliminate the hassle of tapes and be absolutely sure your company’s files are safe, we strongly encourage you to consider our MACC Back-up Solution (MBUS). This cloud-based back-up service is completely automated and requires no work-effort on the part of your employees. If there is an emergency, like an attack of the Cryptowall virus, MBUS is guaranteed to restore access to your files within 24 hours.
For more information on the Cryptowall virus, and how MBUS can protect your company, please contact us at 402-533-5300 or [email protected].