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Thread: Caution about ransomware on your computer

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Default Caution about ransomware on your computer

    The New York Times Personal Tech section (May 12) has an article about ransomware and how to prevent it:

    Dodging the Computer Kidnappers


    By J. D. BIERSDORFER




    An up-to-date antivirus program on your PC or Mac can help warn you of attempted ransomware infection.

    Q. My computer’s antivirus program is going nuts lately blocking something called “Locky.” What is this and why am I getting so many alerts about it?

    A. "Locky" is a type of malicious software known as ransomware, which as the name suggests, encrypts the files on your computer and will not release them until you give a hefty payment to your unseen attackers.

    Ransomware ... has become decidedly more prevalent and large-scale in recent months....

    Locky is aimed at Windows systems and has been spreading this spring through waves of phishing spam messages. The ransomware can arrive on your computer hidden in an email attachment, like an infected Microsoft Office document (one that prompts you to enable Office macros) or as a bit of JavaScript code tucked inside a .zip file. (Because it can better evade some antivirus programs, the JavaScript version has been increasingly widespread as of late.)

    You can take basic steps to protect yourself from ransomware infection. Keep your antivirus program and operating system up-to-date with the latest security patches. Do not open any unsolicited file attachments from unknown senders — or even unexpected attachments from people you know, in case their computers have been compromised.

    Disable macro commands in Microsoft Office files you receive by email and if possible, log into your computer with a more limited standard account instead of the all-powerful administrator account.

    Some ransomware can encrypt files on drives attached to the PC, so back up your computer’s files regularly, and keep a copy of the backup on an unconnected external drive or server.

    Ransomware is not just a Windows problem. Mac users should also be on guard against the OS X/KERanger-A ransomware and its variants, which can extort a high price in exchange for getting your computer’s files back.





    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



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  3. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Thanks Agate. I would just dump everything, and start fresh. This place is the only place I would care to get back anyway. I have SOME protection enabled, and never see anything on email but my brother and sister. Anything else gets dumped automatically.

    This kind of CRIME is sad to see. I hope everyone will stay safe!
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks Agate, I also hope everyone will stay safe. This can not only be a very frustrating thing, but also a very costly one.
    Virginia

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  7. #4

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    As my screen name might suggest, I tend to lean to the dark side (not really, but it is a nice fantasy). Anyway, There is an auto forum I sometimes frequent that every once-in-awhile, up pops an alert that I need to "do something immediately" because my computer has been compromised. This something involves $$$, downloading programs, etc.

    I cannot do anything when this thing pops up. It freezes everything. However, having been under the bridge a few times, I know enough to hit " Control, alt, delete" and kill Firefox (or whatever web browser you may be using -- Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge). After that, everything is fine. Just a tip.

    I use as my native anti-virus the free AVAST program. There are others, but AVAST works well enough for me. I also use Malwarebytes Anti-exploit, which is free and runs all the time and prevents webpages from infecting my computer (the pop-up I mentioned earlier is not blocked because it has not yet tried to set malware). And, I run, twice a week, the free MalwareBytes scanner, which double-checks how well my AVAST is doing.

    Never had any trouble since following this method. And, best of all, all free.

    Oh, you all might consider using the free version of CCLEANER, helps your computer run a bit snappier and clears out all the gunk (the old name used to be CrapCleaner).

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  9. #5

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    Just one P.S.

    The last couple of months, I keep getting Word documents -- and lately photos -- as e-mail attachments in my inbox -- and they are supposedly sent by ME!

    The first one I saw was a word document. I nearly opened the e-mail, which probably would have safe as long as I did not open the attachment, but I did not open the e-mail because I had a nagging feeling that I did not send that message (on occasion I do send a document to myself). So, I deleted it, and the next day, I got another, then I started getting messages from myself with pix attached.

    I went into my security log and found that there had also been numerous attempts -- mostly from Russian IPS -- to break into my e-mail.

    Anyway, I have bomb-proof passwords, and I am paranoid, but just a heads-up -- don't even open mail from yourself.

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  11. #6
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Why do you come here to ask these sort of questions? This is a Support Group for people with Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is important to us. Please don't plant a virus or any thing to mess up this forum. It's important to us.

    If you are here to do harm, I ask you PLEASE don't do it! There are plenty of other places you can go. PLEASE do no harm here.
    Evolution spans the Universe.

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  13. #7
    Distinguished Community Member Jeanie Z's Avatar
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    Smile

    :) I had one of those emails Hellboundtroll talked about. I too hit control, alter, delete and shut down. When I booted back up I ran my AVG spyware and it removed one threat. I could not close the email or delete it, so I only hoped shutting down that way would let me work to remove it and it did.

    I think it is unfortunate that some people try to hurt other users. Virginia I'm glad your brothers surgery went well. Jeanie :)
    Last edited by Jeanie Z; 05-12-2016 at 08:52 PM. Reason: typo

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  15. #8
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    HellBoundTroll, I can't see where you've asked any questions. I think Howie may have misinterpreted your post.

    About CC Cleaner: I had that for a while but cancelled it. I can't remember why but it was probably just using up resources when my PC needed them.

    I've used Norton Anti-Virus for many years. For a while I used AVG, and it was good too.
    Last edited by agate; 05-13-2016 at 08:39 AM.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



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  17. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Why do you come here to ask these sort of questions? This is a Support Group for people with Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is important to us. Please don't plant a virus or any thing to mess up this forum. It's important to us.

    If you are here to do harm, I ask you PLEASE don't do it! There are plenty of other places you can go. PLEASE do no harm here.
    ?????????????


    I question no one, except this post?

    Follow my advice on malware and the odds of you having trouble will be greatly reduced.

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  19. #10

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    CCleaner really does not use resources, but if you use the registry cleaner part of CCleaner, it can muck things up -- like all registry cleaners. So don't use the registry cleaner function -- and that may be why you got rid of it.

    But, the registry cleaner is not the core of CCleaner and does not run unless you specifically use it -- I advise you do not. Leave it in the toybox.

    Oh, there have been reports about Cortina and CCleaner not playing nice. So, if you use Cortina, probably better you do not use CCleaner. Personally, I locked Cortina away in a dark basement right away and have never let Cortina out since....

    Anyway, mostly, I like CCleaner as it gets rid of annoying cookies and tons of unnecessary files that eventually (and it takes awhile) gunk up everything. Also, I can quickly check what is running at start-up and disable it.

    Had issues with Norton in the 90's so stepped away from it then. I do know it is solid now.

    Here's some info (but as always, if things ain't broke don't fix them -- if you are happy with your computer performance, then you probably don't need to hassle CCleaner):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCleaner
    Last edited by HellBoundTroll; 05-13-2016 at 07:18 AM.

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