If your data is important to you. Then read on. We as a company feel bad when are put in the position of trying to recover data that is non-recoverable due to the latest string of viruses that have been unleashed onto the public. The latest set of malware that we've been facing our a class of viruses call ransomeware. This particular virus will encrypt all of your personal data on your computer and then demand a ransom for a decryption key. The fees can range anywhere from $250 to 500 and if you do not pay the ransome in the time that they tell you to pay it will double. We recently visited A business client that was infected with just this virus they were presented with about 130 hours to pay or the price would go to $1000. The ransomeware was asking them to pay via bit coin. This is not easily accomplished due to the limited options we have to either create a bitcoin wallet or to be able to qualify to pull the bit coin funds that were requested. We found most of the banks that are converting the US funds to bitcoins would only allow us to take $400 or we could create an account and within 14 days will be able to take out the $500 which was required to pay the ransom. We eventually found a kiosk on the other side of the city where we would have to bring $500 cash and deposit into the kiosk machine to be able to exchange for bitcoins of the amount needed. Once the bitcoins were aquired we then take the transaction ID put it into the form which is then used to pay off the ransom. Completely untraceable. We then would get a decryption key. Unfortunately it is a gamble and there may be a chance we may not get the decryption key. The client would be out the $500. There are very limited options at this point due to the high level of encryption they have placed on the clients files.
I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your value pictures, documents, work files quicken, QuickBooks, database files pretty much anything that resides on your computer. You have a lot of back up options available to you. Youcan use cloud-based back up such as Carbonite, mozy or crash plan.
If we are successful getting the files decrypted, it will have cost the client well over $1000. We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that there is honor among thieves.