Recently, a flowerSoft customer had his system infected by a ransomware attack.
I just ran into an article published by the Consumer Reports organization about this form of attack.  Here are excepts of what the article said.

Randsomware is a form of malware designed to steal money from individuals, businesses and other organizations by holding their data hostage.

Once your system is infected, next time you log on, your computer displays a ransom note saying your data has been encrypted, with instructions on how to pay to unlock it.

The malware arrives in encrypted files distributed by email. Once a computer is infected, the user receives a note demanding an amount of money in a virtual currency called bitcoin to restore access to the data on the device.  Bitcoin is nearly impossible to trace back to the sender of the ransomware.

How does your system get infected?
Most ransomware infections happen when a user is lured by a bogus “phishing” email to a site that infects his or her computer, or by clicking on an attached file that secretly installs it.

How do you avoid being the victim of ransomware?
You avoid ransomware the same way you avoid any malware infection: By being careful. While that’s not always easy, there are things you can do to steer clear of problems.

  • Don’t casually click a link inside an email; instead, type the web address directly into your browser.
  • Never open an attachment unless you were expecting to receive it and you’re certain of what it is.
  • Don’t spend time in the disreputable corners of the internet that specialize in risqué content or pirated movies; you can get infected simply by visiting a dodgy site.
  • Never install software just because a web site tells you to do it.
  • And always keep a backup copy of all your personal files on a separate drive or with a “cloud”-based backup service. That way, if the worst happens, you’ll always have access to your most important data.

Luckily in our case, the flowerSoft data was not affected but the ability to access it was.

We had to replace of the flowerSoft executables and then the flowerSoft data was available again.  Still, the ransomware had to be removed from the infected server and fortunately the talented Jonathan Chan, which many of you have used to set up your networks, was able to do it.

Of course, this did not come at no cost to the flowerSoft customer, which had to spend 2 days without a computer system and also had to pay for Mr. Chan’s time spent removing the ransomware.

So please, always have a current backup of your flowerSoft data and programs.
In the case of your data, it should be backed up every single day.
We may be able to restore your flowerSoft programs but if your data is gone, it is gone forever.

To read the entire article, click on the link below:

Consumer Reports Article on Ransomware



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