Threat Alert! CryptoWall 4.0


CryptoWall 4.0

CryptoWall 3.0 is estimated to have generated $325 million in ransom from hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide this past year. As we near the peak holiday shopping season a bigger threat has emerged, CryptoWall 4.0. Both versions are spread primarily by spam mail, with common examples posing as copies of resumes and Fed-Ex tracking notifications. Once CryptoWall is on the system it encrypts the files and generates a message demanding ransom to decrypt the files.

CryptoWall 4.0 has been enhanced:

  • Encrypts file names in addition to the file in order to increase anxiety and generate more ransom payments.
  • The ransom notice is in HTML and now includes two sections, a notice that they have become part of the “CryptoWall Community” and a note that their intentions are not malicious but rather that they’re trying to increase security for consumers!
  • The attachment contains a “.js” (JavaScript) file. When that is executed, the infection downloads an executable file and saves it to C:WindowsTemp at which point it becomes executed.

How to prevent infection or minimize impact:

  • Don’t open spam emails, or emails from unrecognized senders
  • Don’t open attachments from suspicious emails (for example, if you get a suspicious Fed-Ex email call them or go to their direct website instead)
  • Ensure all operating system and anti-virus software are up-to-date
  • Regularly back up important files and data (ex – FileHopper Plus)
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware products

How to recover files:

  • If you have been backing up your system regularly you can restore from a backup
  • You could pay the ransom to get a decryption key, although this does not guarantee you will get the decryption key

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