Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Kiwi computers held for ransom

David Hallett
Chief Nerd
Need A Nerd

EMBARGOED UNTIL THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 6AM:

Kiwi computers held for ransom

NEW ZEALAND, October 16, 2013: Computer users are being extorted out of hundreds of dollars by a new form of cyber-criminal who holds precious personal data to ransom.

Ransomware, a new form of malicious software also known as malware, installs itself on your computer and demands payment before it can be removed.

“We’ve seen infection grow from one customer’s machine in 2008 to 173 so far this year,” said one of Need A Nerd’s Chief Nerds David Hallett.

“It’s as though the highwayman of old tales has made the jump to the digital age and is terrorising the information super highway which we know as the internet.”

The CryptoLocker software is the newest form of ransomware.

“Upon infection it acts in stealth, silently encrypting your data. Once precious family photos, vital Microsoft Word documents, spreadsheets and email are all encoded it sends the unique encryption key to the writer and the ransom begins,” Hallett warns.

CryptoLocker demands you pay a ransom of several hundred dollars or face the deletion of the encryption key in three days.

“Unless you pay the ransom, you will lose access to any files that have been encrypted.”

Hallett described the new threat as more severe than the FBI or NZ Police virus which accuses users of criminal activity online and seeks payment to make the computer usable again.
“It’s important to understand that the CryptoLocker ransomware is not bluffing,” Hallett warns.

Internet security software, such as ESET Smart Security or Norton 360 Multi-Device, might protect you from CryptoLocker but the writers of ransomware are always trying to find their way around it.

“Because new versions of ransomware are being released frequently, it is important that systems are receiving regular virus database updates,” Hallett says.

“The simple way to avoid being snared as a victim of this new and effective form of ransomware is to ensure you regularly backup your files to an external location.”

ABOUT NEED A NERD
Need A Nerd is a specialist onsite computer and technology service with branches all over New Zealand. For more see www.needanerd.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

OceanaGold: Man Killed In Waihi Mine Accident

A 29-year-old man had died following a work place accident at OceanaGold mine, Waihi last night. The man was killed after the front end loader he was in rolled down a slope. The accident happened at approximately 6.30pm on Thursday night. More>>

ALSO:

Constructing Consent: Annual Housing Consents Highest In Over A Decade

More than 29,000 new homes gained building consent in the year to June 2016, up 16 percent from the previous June year, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

ALSO:

War Against Weevil For Future Peas: “No Peas, No Weevil” Ban Now In Place In Wairarapa

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today placed a ban on growing peas within a specified area and placed controls on moving pea material (seed and untreated pea straw) within, in and out of this area for the next 2 years. More>>

ALSO:

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news