WATCH OUT FOR CRYPTOLOCKER! About Town spoke with
Tom Pattavina, who owns Pattavina Networks at
2 Canton St. and is a computer expert, about a new virus that is beginning to
show up in local computers.
Cryptolocker is considered "ransomware," but is particularly nasty because infected users are in danger of losing their personal files forever. According to Malwarebytes, a security company, "The existence of malware such as Cryptolocker reinforces the need to back up your personal files. However, a local backup may not be enough in some instances, as Cryptolocker may even go after backups located on a network drive connected to an infected PC. Cloud-based backup solutions (like Carbonite) are advisable for business professionals and consumers alike.
According to BleepingComputer.com, "After a while, typically
as long as it takes to encrypt the detected data files, you will be shown a
screen titled CryptoLocker that contains a ransom note on how to decrypt your
files. Depending on the version of Cryptolocker that is installed, the ransom
may be for $100 or $300 USD/EUR. This payment can be made via Bitcoin, MoneyPak, Ukash, or
cashU. You will also be shown a countdown that states that you need to pay the
ransom within 72 hours. Failure to do so will cause the decryption tool to be
deleted from your computer.
"If you do not have System Restore enabled on your computer or reliable backups, then you will need to pay the ransom in order to get your files back. There have been cases when people have paid the ransom and the decryption did not work, for whatever reason. Furthermore, if you do not pay the ransom within the allotted time, the Cryptolocker decryption tool will be removed from your system and make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to restore your files."
Bleeping Computer says there are three means of infection from Crypolocker:
- This infection was originally spread via emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails would contain an attachment that when opened would infect the computer.
- Via exploit kits located on hacked web sites that exploit vulnerabilities on your computer to install the infection.
- Through Trojans that pretend to be programs required to view online videos. These are typically encountered through Porn sites.
"Although the abrupt shutdown of the computer is not the most healthy thing for it, it is better than the data loss you could avoid suffering. The present variant of Cryptolocker puts a notice across your screen, as well as a replacement of the desktop background. If you find you have the virus, unplug the computer immediately and get it to a competent professional.
"It pays to be prepared. Back your files OFF SITE on a cloud-based site."
Meanwhile Pattavina reports, "Presently, I am going through a restore with a client. Fortunately, he uses Carbonite, but it is still a huge job."
So, Stoughton readers, beware of web sites that you have never visited. Stay clear of porn sites and gambling sites. And, keep reading About Town. We'll try to keep you safe!
Video on how to remove this virus can be found on You Tube.
PROMOTIONS AT Y: Ellen Greene was
named Executive Director of the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton earlier this week,
according to Old Colony YMCA Chief Operating Officer and Stoughton native Jeff
Greene was originally membership director when the Old Colony
YMCA purchased the Striar Jewish Community Center building at 445 Central
St. She was later appointed as Co-Associate Director with
Serah Selmon. Selmon was named Executive Director of the
Old Colony YMCA in Easton.
In addition, Joe Leaver and Dereck Paiva were named Senior Program Directors at the Stoughton location.
Old Colony YMCA Chief Executive Officer Vinnie Marturano
told About Town that all the promotions were well-deserved. "Ellen Greene
has been a wonderful staff member. She was outstanding with the Striar JCC, and
has been very effective for us. She's a very talented lady. We believe strongly
in promoting within."
Joyce Dwyer will still be supervising Selmon and
Greene, Marturano emphasized. According to a memo from Russell, "Serah has been one of the key
employees in our success in Stoughton since we acquired this operation 4+ years
ago. Her experience in health and wellness, staff development, membership
service and special event fund raising will be of assistance in Easton."
As for Leaver and Paiva, Russell says that "Joe will be responsible for the
growth and quality of our program department and camp operations and Derek
will be responsible for expanding our work and programs in health and wellness
in our Striar/Stoughton Branch."
As for Greene, Russell adds, "Ellen is a true professional with a wealth of
experience in membership and program development, member relations and staff
development. Ellen has been and remains an instrumental employee in our success
We congratulate all the great people at the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton. It's a wonderful place for local families. If you haven't been there, check it out. There's something for everybody!