CentraComp Customers,

Over the last few days, we have seen quite a few reports of Phishing scams that are leading to Ransomware being installed on computers, laptops, and servers.  The most aggressive Phishing attempts have been discussed as e-gift cards being sent from what appears to be a known friend or colleague.

As a reminder, you should always be suspicious of emails, even when received from someone you know.  Always make sure the ‘From’ address is correct, and always hover over links before clicking on them.

Checking the sender’s address: 

Hover over the sender’s name and wait for the popup seen below.  Make sure the sender’s email is what you would expect.  Someone spoofing could try sending something from “first.last@mailbox.com” or “first.last@mailboxes.com” or just about any other variation you could think of. 

Checking an embedded link:

Anytime you find a link in an email, even when sent from someone you know, hover over the link to make sure it’s not fake.

As you can see below, the two links look the exact same, but one is spoofing the URL and will redirect the recipient to a potentially dangerous site.  Notice the extra ‘trailing’ portion of the URL.  This is a FAKE!

How Serious is Ransomware?

Once a machine is infected, all files will become encrypted.  This includes locally stored files and files on the network, and will include documents, pictures, videos, and pretty much anything important to you.  The only way to decrypt the files is to get the decryption key form the cyber criminals by paying a ransom with something like Bitcoins.  Since Bitcoins are untraceable, yet still hold real value, it is a perfect way for cyber criminals to stay hidden, while getting paid.

Several CentraComp customers have sent emails and called us about this, wondering what can be done to keep them protected.

Additional thoughts…

When it comes to email, trust no one!  If you are suspicious of an email, simply navigate to the sender’s website directly, without clicking on any links, or contact the sender directly.

Information Security continues to be a top priority at CentraComp!  It is important to stay current with your Carbonite subscriptions to maintain a solid offsite backup plan.  A good backup plan, coupled with Webroot for virus protection and AEM for support, help us keep you safe and secure.  These tools work!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us a helpdesk @ centracomp.com


Stay Safe!