Advanced Software (return to the homepage)

Cryptolocker protection tips

10/08/2016 minute read Greg Ford

The Laserform support team assist our customers with a variety of issues, ranging from simple form queries to multi-site software installations. Recently the team have noticed an increase in calls relating to viruses, primarily encryption malware such as CryptoLocker. So we’ve pulled together this handy guide to help avoid getting infected.

What is it? CrypoLocker is a ransomware Trojan virus that targets computers operating on Microsoft Windows. The malware encrypts files then threatens to delete them unless a payment is made before a given deadline.

Where does it come from? The virus is transmitted through malicious emails, usually claiming to be invoice refunds or from government agencies but it can also be installed from website links or infected servers. Clicking an infected link prompts the malware to run an automatic install and begin encrypting files. Once complete a ransom note is displayed, usually requesting a bitcoin payment within 96 hours in return for decryption instructions.

What does this affect? All Windows programmes including Word and Excel are targeted by the malware and any files within them will be encrypted. Laserform does have Windows access databases so whilst the majority of Laserform will run as normal any word forms will be encrypted and some databases may be corrupted.

Resolution: If you do find yourself held to ransom by malware software then don’t panic, the virus can be identified, quarantined and removed using readily available software. Unfortunately it isn’t always possible to decrypt the files so you, or your IT support team, may need to wipe the affected systems and install back up files. 
Once resolved the Laserform support team can re-install Laserform if necessary, replace the corrupt databases and word forms and check that Laserform is running correctly.

Prevention and damage limitation: The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is especially relevant in malware cases. Isolating a malicious virus is frustrating for all involved and often results in financial loss, privacy breaches and the corruption of important documentation.

Protect yourself with the following tips:

  • Use, and maintain, reliable anti-virus protection software
  • Keep your operating systems up to date
  • Surf smart and don’t visit sites that you don’t trust.
  • Don’t open suspicious emails. If you accidentally open a malicious email then don’t click the links or forward it. Immediately inform your IT support.
  • Back up your files - just in case!

Protect yourself and your firm by staying vigilant and maintaining up to date virus protection.

The Laserform support team are only a call away for any Laserform issues: 03300 602102.