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Beware of Ransomware!

Ransomware is a common type of malware we remove for our customers in our Lexington, KY computer repair shop.

Ransomware has become so rampant, that nearly every phishing email that gets sent today contains this form of malware.

What is ransomware you may say? It is a type of malicious software, or virus, designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

This data comes from PhishMe Inc, a provider of software defense solutions. In its latest report, it found that 97.25 percent of all phishing emails sent during Q3 of 2016 contained ransomware, up from 92 percent in Q1.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an email.

Three major trends were identified over the past 3 months according to the report:

Locky ransomware continues to dominate: While numerous encryption ransomware varieties have been identified in 2016, Locky has demonstrated adaptability and longevity. Locky will be remembered alongside 2013’s CryptoLocker as a top-tier ransomware tool that fundamentally altered the way security professionals view the threat landscape

Ransomware encryption: The proportion of phishing emails analyzed that delivered some form of ransomware has grown to 97.25 percent, leaving only 2.75 percent of phishing emails to deliver all other forms of malware utilities

Increase in deployment of ‘quiet malware’: PhishMe identified an increase in the deployment of remote access Trojan malware like jRAT, suggesting that these threat actors intend to remain within their victims’ networks for a long time

The other 2.75 percent of malicious software delivered included remote access Trojans, keyloggers and botnets. These still represent a significant hazard in 2016. Unlike ransomware, so-called ‘quiet malware’ is designed to avoid detection while maintaining a presence within a computer or business network for extended periods of time.

Here’s the moral of the story: Be careful what you click on! Read our Ten tips for Identifying a Phishing Email.

Has your computer has fallen victim to ransomware or other malware

Give us a call and we will get right to work on rescuing your computer. If you pay the ransom to these bad actors, there’s absolutely no guarantee they’ll remove the malware from your computer. Call or email us, and we’ll let you know what your options are.

 

Virus Removal and Malware Prevention

Virus Removal – Computers Plus Repair Lexington

Computer Virus Removal in Lexington KY

Computer Virus Removal in Lexington KYThe skilled virus removal technicians at Computers Plus Repair in Lexington have extensive experience and success in removing all kinds of computer viruses and malware.

One of the most common computer services we perform is virus and malware removal, including removal of rogue security software which is becoming increasingly common (see below for a definition of terms and prevention).

Our virus removal service is quick, guaranteed, and competitively priced.

See our price list or request a quote; or call us at 859-523-5355

First we diagnose the severity of the problem through observation of the computer’s symptoms. Then, we utilize one or more of a number of diagnostic scanning and removal programs. In more severe cases we remove the hard drive and connect it to one of our computers to run the scans externally. This way, the malware can’t prevent removal programs from scanning and removing the infected files.

In a few cases, where there has been substantial damage done to core Windows system files, we recommend a data back-up (if desired) and a re-installation of the Windows operating system. In this case, the computer’s software would then be restored to a similar condition as it was when the computer was new.

We guarantee our work for 30 days, but you can be free of viruses for much longer if you take some of the precautionary measures discussed below. Also, refer to our post about our top recommended free software, which includes some of our anti-virus software recommendations. We also sell some more robust anti-virus programs in our store. Feel free to call us or stop in with any questions. We are always glad to help. Read more

Tips for Backing Up Data and Preventing Data Loss

Data loss can affect anyone…

It is especially problematic for those who have valuable information stored on their computers, such as business documents, financial records, or personal photos and videos.

Every hard drive will mechanically fail at some point and need replaced. Sometimes there are warning signs, and sometimes there aren’t. Also, malware and viruses can damage or delete critical system files. Oftentimes the only solution is to reformat the drive and reinstall the operating system. In these cases, everything on the drive will be lost.

We often perform data recovery for our customers in Lexington, KY due to hard drive failure or virus infection, and they usually regret not having a backup system in place when their valuable data is no longer accessible.  A little bit of planning now can prevent serious frustration and stress down the road in the event of hard drive failure or operating system corruption.

Here’s what we recommend to prevent data loss:

1. Back up your data

An excellent preventative measure is to buy an external hard drive. An external drive can be attached to any computer at any time simply by plugging it into a USB or firewire port. 

Many external drives also have the added benefit of one-touch and/or scheduled back ups – you simply specify the folders and the software will take care of the rest. Macrium Reflect software is a good free backup software if your external hard drive doesn’t come with it’s own software, or if it’s not user friendly. A 250GB hard drive will provide ample room for the average user, and Newegg.com is a good website to shop and compare drive prices, sizes, and ratings.

If it’s a desktop computer, an alternative is installing a second internal hard-drive in your computer (which we can do). Read more