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Alert: CryptoWall Continues to Infiltrate Businesses

CryptoWall, the latest iteration of the infamous CryptoLocker, is currently one of the greatest cyber security threats for U.S. organizations in part because of the prolific infections in the past year. This ransomware infects a device in one of the following four ways:

  1. Phishing email with infected attachment;
  2. Phishing email with malicious URL;
  3. User clicks on infected ad; and
  4. User visits infected website.

Most harmful, this infection uses suspicious websites that will compromise the workstation and an entire network within a matter of seconds. Following infection, the system and data are essentially “held hostage” and a ransom payment of $200 to $10,000 is requested for information release.

Costs associated with network mitigation, network countermeasures, loss of productivity, legal fees, IT services, and/or the purchase of credit monitoring services for employees or customers are often incurred as well. Between April 2014 and June 2015, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 992 CryptoWall-related complaints, with victims reporting losses totaling over $18 million.

To protect your organization today, ensure that your organization is complying with the following security points.

  • Always use antivirus software and a firewall and keep it up to date.
  • Enable popup blockers.
  • Back up the content on your computer.
  • Don’t click on any emails or attachments you don’t recognize.

Maintaining cyber security requires understanding from every employee. Reminding personnel to delete and report suspicious emails and websites will help ensure the immediate safety of an organization’s system.

For long-term security, KSMC has identified three key steps an organization of any size can take to help protect against cyber crime.