Viruses have certainly come a long way since the 1980’s. I can clearly remember the first commercial virus that we ever saw it was in the late 80s and it came through the post on a floppy disk with a booklet. The booklet was entitled the Aids Information Diskette that clearly told you of its intention to encrypt all of the data on your hard drive.
We were fascinated, so much so that we assembled a new PC to test whether it worked and sure enough it did exactly what it promised to do. Once it had encrypted our data it then gave us clear instruction on how to get it back by sending money to someone in Bolivia.
So ransom-ware may not be a new concept but the evolution is remarkable. Like most technology, virus technology has advanced and continues to do so at an alarming pace. The current breed of ransom-ware disables safety nets and avoids detection and threatens the livelihoods of many companies and their employees.
Anti-Virus software continues to be defeated by this malware with apparent ease.
Make no mistake ransom-ware is a multi-million if not billion pound industry and as such they have the resources to outwit the Antivirus companies.
You can protect your data to some extent by having a good quality AV package, kept up to date, but to be absolutely safe there is no better solution than a comprehensive disaster recovery solution.
Recently one of our clients was hit by the Locky virus, even though they had a corporate AV solution well managed and kept up to date. Within 30 minutes the virus had encrypted 30,000 files across their network.
We submitted a sample of the virus to www.virustotal.com, this confirmed that not one of over 40 Antivirus companies could detect it, and this is what we call a zero day attack.
However as the customer had a comprehensive disaster recovery solution in place we were able to recover them back to a point in time one hour before the virus had struck and had them up and running again 90 minutes later. Had this customer not had a DR Plan in place the cost to the business would have ran into thousands of pounds. Many businesses actually fail within 12 months of succumbing to such an attack.
For more information on our disaster recovery plans and how you can protect your business against ransom-ware please call us on 01625 615384 or visit our contact us page.