The newest ransomware (malicious software that interferes with your computer's functioning and requires a ransom to restore it) is even more problematic than previous types, because it not only prevents access to your documents — it locks you out of your computer entirely. This file, called Petya, is typically transmitted via email. If you open the attachment, or follow the link, it begins running on your computer.
Once this happens, you'll see a series of things happening, including the Blue Screen of Death, the Windows Check Disk running, and a screen showing a skull and informing you of the ransom you have to pay to get your computer to function again. If you choose to pay the ransom, you'll have to use another computer to do it.
Fortunately, you have a couple of other options to try. Take your computer to an IT technician, who may be able to recover your system. Or, if possible, shut down your computer immediately when you see the Blue Screen of Death. At this point, you may still be able to salvage your files.
Of course, the best strategy is to prevent the file from infecting your computer in the first place. To do this, use standard malware prevention techniques:
- Be wary of all email you receive, especially from people you don't know. Don't open any attachments from an unknown source and don't follow any links unless you know where they go.
- Use complex, varied passwords and keep them private.
- Only download software from known, trusted websites.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and all applications up to date. Regularly install security patches and other updates.
- Use an anti-virus and anti-malware application, and run it regularly to ensure continuous protection.
- Perhaps most importantly, back up all your files regularly. Use a reliable offsite backup and recovery service.
While there is a lot of potential danger in computer and online use, there are also many steps you can take to protect yourself. The Evertek Team
Information provided by Cornerstone Group