Causing chaos: The ransomware

It appears that the Hywel Dda Health Board is taking the threat of the ransom virus very seriously as it has implemented a block and delete system for all incoming emails. Llanelli Online attempted to contact the press office via email today, Sunday (May 14) as we usually do but the response was as follows:

As a result of the recent International Cyber Incident, which is affecting the NHS, this email has been deleted and will not be sent on to the recipient. This has been implemented as a proactive precautionary measure. We will review the situation on Monday 15th May 2017.

Ransomware poses a serious threat since it can affect MS Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. The strength of the encryption can lock important files such as images, videos, audio, PDF files, MS Office files, and other types of files and apps. FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) claims that between April 2014 and June 2015, victims reported losses totaling over $18 million.

Ransomware, also known as scareware, is malicious software that restricts access to an infected computer while displaying a notification making demands for the computer user to pay a fee to restore access to the infected system. Recent ransomware, such as CryptoLocker and CryptoWall, are known to encrypt files, which locks up an infected computer making it virtually useless for performing basic functions or surfing the Internet.

Ransomware will ask that a substantial fee is paid for the decryption of the files to restore them back to their original state. However, paying for the ransom does not guarantee that the computer user will regain access to the infected computer.

Most ransomware will make a false claim of online criminal activity or immoral acts detected by authorities. While the claims proved to be false, the threat is very real and could end up costing you a lot in the long run.

The technical challenges presented with ransomware are vast. Such malware infections put your system’s resources at risk and could result in a total loss of your data if the threat is not addressed or removed.

 

 

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