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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Tiwai Point (And Saying “No” In Greece)

Its hard to see how Rio Tinto’s one month delay in announcing its intentions about the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is a good sign for (a) the jobs of the workers affected or (b) for the New Zealand taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Dairy Product Prices Extend Slide To Six-Year Low

Dairy product prices continued their slide, paced by whole milk power, in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, weakening to the lowest level in six years. More>>

ALSO:

Copper Broadband: Regulator Set To Keep Chorus Pricing Largely Unchanged

The Commerce Commission looks likely to settle on a price close to its original decision on what telecommunications network operator Chorus can charge its customers, though it probably won’t backdate any update. More>>

ALSO:

Lower Levy For Safer Cars: ACC Backtracks On Safety Assessments

Dog and Lemon: “The ACC has based the entire levy system on a set of badly flawed data from Monash University. This Monash data is riddled with errors and false assumptions; that’s the real reason for the multiple mistakes in setting ACC levies.” More>>

ALSO:

Fast Track: TPP Negotiations Set To Accelerate, Groser Says

Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate in July, with New Zealand officials working to stitch up a deal by the month's end, according to Trade Minister Tim Groser. More>>

ALSO:

Floods: Initial Assessment Of Economic Impact

Authorities around the region have compiled an initial impact assessment for the Ministry of Civil Defence, putting the estimated cost of flood recovery at around $120 million... this early estimate includes social, built, and economic costs to business, but doesn’t include costs to the rural sector. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news