User2 Computers has over 20 years of experience in the removal of Virus and Malware infections but something becoming more prevalent is the use of encryption and ransoms.
Traditional anti virus programs such as Kaspersky and Eset are the 1st line of defense in guarding against infection from all manner of nasty programs. However more and more often systems are being infected with Malware. This is a type of program that many anti virus programs simply do not detect or can do nothing against. After all, the anti virus is there to stop this type of thing getting onto your computer in the first place, not repairing the damage it causes.
Often when a customer comes to us with a system that has been infected they think it’s a virus. Truth is that a traditional virus infection is pretty rare these days. Regularly it’s down to some Malware locking your system and demanding payment for faults or problems that it claims to have found on your system, the only real fault is this piece of software itself.
This is a good example of the sort of Malware we see on a regular basis. There are many different types but they are fairly similar. User2 Computers can usually remove these types of infection for an hour or so in labor but often where there is one infection we find more that the customer is unaware of. Programs like tool bars, ‘optimizers’ and generally anything that claims it will speed up, clean, or generally work miracles at the click of one button is simple too good to be true.
It gets worse:
Along with Malware infections we are also starting to see infections that encrypt files such as pictures and documents on not only the target system but any and all connected devices such as external hard disks, network attached storage and other systems on the network.
Just as the image above states, decrypting or getting your files back from this sort of attack is only possible if you know the key. There are some programs out there which will allow you to recover your files from this but only for specific infections and they are quite rare.
Everyone always says that you should never pay a ransom, we would tend to agree with them. In some cases however if a customer has no backup and sometimes even if they have (as it may have been encrypted also) there is little choice. The infection can be removed so that it causes no further harm but the files will have to go one of two ways. Either they are deleted or the ransom is paid.
On occasion paying the ransom has resulted in the files being recovered. There is NO guarantee however that you will get anything back if the ransom is paid. The are many accounts online of ransoms being paid and files being unlocked but also a high number of cases where the ransom has simply vanished. It really is the last resort.
Our advice on this is that you have data that is critical to you or your business that you have a robust backup scheme. User2 can provide online backup systems for a modest monthly fee where required. For the average home user an external hard drive that is left unplugged when not in use is a good option.
What can I do?
Whatever the issue when it comes to a Virus, Malware or general infection, User2 has most likely seen and dealt with it before. We have a high success rate with removal of such things without data loss or long down times for clients due to systems having to be wiped and completely reinstalled.
So if you have an issue and are unsure what to do or simply would like advice on how to avoid such things feel free to stop by either of our stores or click here for more info.