Sheriff Russell Warns of Computer Software Scam

FromTheSheriffA local business was recently the victim of a computer ransom-ware scam.  The scam is a variation of the Crypto Wall scam, where the suspect infects the victim’s computer with a virus.  The virus then encrypts all of the victim’s files and forces the victim to pay money to get the encryption keys in order to decrypt the files again.  The scam also directs the victim to make payment in the form of untraceable money such as prepaid credit cards, money orders, or bit coins.  The scam is a real threat because the virus uses very strong encryption algorithm that cannot be cracked.  If you are a victim of this scam, it is recommended that you do not pay the ransom money as this only perpetuates the problem and there is no guarantee that the suspect will provide the encryption keys to unlock the files.

Sheriff Russell is advising the public and area businesses of this scam and offers several tips on ways you can prevent from becoming a victim.

1.       Do not open any emails or their attachments from anyone that you do not know.

2.      Make routine backups of your important data to another computer, external hard drive, or cloud based service.

3.      Keep your operating system and its programs up to date with all of the security patches.

4.      Install and routinely update your anti-virus software with the latest virus and malicious software definitions and enable live monitoring of your system.

5.      Set up automated daily scans of your system for threats.