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Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 11:46 AM

I see that the ransomware threads are all pretty old. And apparently ransomware is on the rise now, hitting ordinary folks as well as the big companies. I'm running Bitdefender anti-ransomware. Is this sufficient protection? I've thought of cloning my PC daily to an external drive and/or saving data to the cloud. Any experiences or ideas that you have?

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#1

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 12:28 PM
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#9
In reply to #1

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 4:12 PM
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#17
In reply to #1

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 2:05 PM

SE: the computer guys I meet with say that Norton (and McAfee) are resource hogs and slow down the machine. I have AVG, but understand that Kaspersky is one of the best. They also don't like Chrome, saying that it is not secure. I'm using Firefox.

But a big YES to backups on an external hard drive. Also to disconnect it when it is not in use to protect it from the same ransomware.

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#2

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 12:29 PM

No experience of ransomeware, but i may've just avoided some. Got facebook messaged from someone (or something) posing as one of my friends and telling me about some lottery, asking if I wanted the link to claim my £300k. Told my bogus "friend" he was a robot, and unfriended him.

I use Kaspersky, which is good, but even the best stuff can't always save you from yourself. Stay alert!

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#10
In reply to #2

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 3:47 AM

I have to agree with you, I also rely on Kaspersky too, it's regularly in first or second place in tests here in Germany.

I have used it all the times I have had Windows for many years now.

But I also use Malwarebytes as well, in conjunction with Kaspersky. It impresses me with its finding of P.U.P.s and other Malware. The two work "hand in hand" with each other....

(Potentially Unwanted Programs)

They are both partly the reason that I returned to Windows again.

Plus I have so much other Windows software that I have purchased over the years, that has no good replacement under Linux.....

I am a great fan of Office 2010, for example, and missed using it (I am not a fan of "Wine")...I use Office as my "standard" for Book writing when doing a technical book translation from German to English. It alerts me to possible Grammatical errors as well as spelling....

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#20
In reply to #2

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 3:05 PM

By JohnDG: can't always save you from yourself.

Moral: don't click on stuff that is suspicious. They can fake common logos! A good antivirus is important; a good firewall is important. But neither can control you.

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#3

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 12:48 PM

SOunds like it might be a good time for me to do a fresh backup of all my laptops and home computers this week.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 12:53 PM

Can't have too many backups.

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#13
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 9:35 AM

That's why I have a large pile of hi-capacity flash drives.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 1:07 PM

I think ransomware can get into your OS and apps too, so you might have to clone your machines to capture your whole deal. I've never done that, but I think I will learn now, buy a drive and just connect it to do the clone, then disconnect it so the bad guys can't mess it up too.

I only need the internet a few hours a day, so I physically pull the plug on it otherwise; why give the bad guys 24x7 access to my machine?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 1:37 PM

That's what I do. I have pair of USB to various hard drive adaptors like this,

USB 2.0 to SATA, PATA, IDE drive adaptor ~$9

and a drawer of old assorted hard drives that work good so I just pull a hard drive I want to do a clone of and copy it with one of my other computers and so on.

Granted those adapters aren't the fastest way to copy assorted harddrives (multi hundred gig loads take hours) but it's better than losing one!

For the few tera drives I have I usually will just do a direct SATA hookup off my main PC motherboard ports.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 1:39 PM

That's fine as long as you take time to upgrade your software first when you go online....I leave mine on, this allows the software to upgrade when they become available....allowing your security protections to upgrade automatically gives you the latest protections available...When the computer is off line and when then signing on, I always allow time to upgrade before opening browser....but norton warns you if there is malware detected, and blocks most automatically....

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#21
In reply to #7

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 3:14 PM

I would use "update" instead of "upgrade." Upgrade seems to be one of the "code" words to get you to download a more expensive (or non-free) version.

I'm a fan of turning the computer completely off over night. And I need to consider turning the internet off at times during the day. If the computer is off when something wants to update, it will do the update when you turn it back on.

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 3:51 AM

I have a hardware clone solution, that I have used for some years now. They are cheap, easy to find and work really well.

No need to use the PC either, it clones drives on its own. The only requirement is that the target drive is at least as large as the data on the source drive. All data & format etc., is simply copied to the new drive.

If you need further infos, just ask me....(goes for anyone here who is interested....)

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 9:17 AM

Yes, I'd love a complete system that integrates software and hardware. What name?

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#8

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/26/2017 1:45 PM

Lets not get too carried away. Although ransomware is on the rise common sense practices and up to date virus protection is about all the average user really needs. My understanding is that ransomware is more targeted so the average light use home computer user is less likely to be affected than say a corporation or high profile online presence.

If you really have any data you are concerned with just back it up on a separate USB, if in the unlikely event you are 'hit' you can just format the hard drive. For greater convenience you can backup the whole computer if you have the time, patience and a large enough USB stick or removable drive.

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#14

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 10:32 AM

Ransomware is one category of potential PC loss (data and applications). All PCs eventually experience mechanical failure - MB, hard drive - dropped on floor, stolen.

Data backup is certainly a great habit - but recovery of PC from ransom or from HD failure involves MANY painful steps before you return to normal operation. Reinstall OS, reinstall software (extra issues if licensed!), re-configure software, reinstall printer driver(s). And when you backup data, be sure to include Favorites, configuration files containing specific settings for app(s) to work as you prefer, etc. Getting back to the way things were can take days, even weeks. Very labor intensive. Trying to find install disks or calling for license re-set, remember how you configured options. Anyone that has been there knows what I'm referring to!

Primary drives (spin or SSD) are relatively cheap - so are mechanical, dual slot cloning cradles or other cloning methods. Cloning means when HD crashes, pull old, slap in new, and EVERYTHING works immediately.

Periodic cloning does take some time up front -- my experience is that mechanical cradle cloning takes no longer, maybe less, that using a data backup app. And as stated, if it's HD failure or ransom, only takes minutes to replace drive and EVERYTHING is restored and operates the same.

For casual users, data backup might be sufficient - but experienced technical users (CR4 types) that have invested a lot of time and effort getting their PCs to current state, looking into cloning over backup is strongly suggested.

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#15

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 10:36 AM

Really? what is on your PC worth paying for? I have my pictures, which of course are stored in at least 2 other places and some internet bookmarks. Beyond that - basically nothing I would pay for to get back. I would think that going after home based PC's would like panning for gold at Sutter's Mill today. Might hit something now and then, but mostly come up with nothing. A lot of time invested for a meager payout.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 2:27 PM

For some I suspect it's not what they have that's valuable but rather potentially not having what they have that they don't want anyone to find out about (or would have a hell of a time collecting again) made public or lost that's of value.

What's not having your collection of 'donkey on midget porn' or your 3 million, now illegal to downloaded songs you spent a decade of you life collecting, made public or just disappearing forever worth to you?

That's where they make their ransom money.

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#19
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 2:48 PM

You don't keep porn on your PC. The wife can find them there. You also don't keep illegal downloads there for just the reason we are discussing. Do we have stupid people out there??? Your PC is not necessarily a secure storage place. And, who doesn't do backups on USB memories of valuable files?

Three million songs? I'd have a hard time thinking of that many I would find necessary to keep, unless I wanted to DJ reunions and such. Guess I'm just not normal.

They can ransomware my PC and I'd tell them to just keep it. Better yet - come take the entire PC so I have an excuse to get a new one, and don't have to find a way to dispose of it - here in the boonies, there aren't many places that will take your old electronics - the woods are full of old TV's.

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#16

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/27/2017 11:41 AM

i just use 100GB disks. Annually I dump it all onto a 100GB Archival. Nothing is stored on my HD except software.

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#22

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 9:44 AM
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#23

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 6:03 PM

Nothing is fool proof. First thing to remember is if you suspect anything may have gotten into your system pull the plug or press and hold the power button for five full seconds.

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#24
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 8:07 PM

Ummm, and what will this do exactly? What happens when you turn the computer back on (the hard drive and BIOS hold their memory remember).

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#25
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 8:43 PM

A hard shutdown does not save anything. A normal shutdown saves stuff you may not want saved. Maybe something bad will still get through but hopefully not.

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 9:09 PM

By then your system is already infected, unless you are talking about killing the power during a dodgy computer download in progress you can see and interrupt. The problem is you won't see any problem until much later as the download and effects will be hidden or disguised from immediate view.

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#27
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 9:51 PM

Not necessarily. Some things get into your system but need the shutdown to be saved into it. This is why shutting down takes time while a hard shutdown happens right now. Every PC and Laptop has this function built in.

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#28
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Re: Ransomware 2017

02/28/2017 10:24 PM

This still comes back to recognising something could have infected the system before a controlled shutdown is initiated. I doubt this is a reliable method of protection.

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#29
In reply to #23

Re: Ransomware 2017

03/01/2017 7:17 PM

In addition, ASAP, shut off the internet however your system allows, probably by pulling the cable to the router. If you do this fast enough, maybe the ransomware hasn't finished its work and you will be able to recover easier. And, as others have said, you need a backup on some external media that is disconnected anytime you are not backing up.

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#30

Re: Ransomware 2017

03/04/2017 5:12 AM

Check out Malwarebytes and Advanced System Care. Both have good free versions.

Slightly OT, but miocrosoft have a downer on CCleaner. It still works fine, but maybe best to ignore the regclean function (which is a bit pointless anyway).

The currently more common scam in Blighty is the telepone call ("I'm calling about your computer blah blah") It's best to dump the phone down, but I find it hard to resist having fun with them. "Wow, I'm so glad you called us. We've noticed you have a problem, so I'll talk you through remote acccess procedure....". For some reason they hang up at about that point. More seriously, it's better to leave their bot-dialers thinking it's a dead line by hanging up. Short of having 'caller display' it's impossible to stop the buggers.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Ransomware 2017

03/05/2017 2:27 AM

Answer "GCHQ, Surveillance Division. We've been expecting you."

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Ransomware 2017

03/05/2017 5:58 AM

LOL - 'Shin Bet field office, please enter designation followed by hash key. We're on our way' may be more plausible and fun.

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: Ransomware 2017

03/05/2017 12:34 PM

Seems a lot of them are using false caller ID's now.

Either that or the 'University Of Wyoming' or such other places are now raising operating funds whoring out their students to make telemarketing and scam calls.

In the last two weeks U of W has called me at least 3 - 4 times a day and every time I have bothered to answer it was either some different telemarketing scam or some telephone poll or survey company instead.

Same with calls from Navient. 2 - 3 times a day claiming I have a outstanding student loans or some other loans/credit cards or whatever from some undefinable time frame and location that I have never heard of and if I don't pay anywhere from $XXX.xx to $XX,XXX.xx immediately they're going to ruin my credit and have me blocked from being able to get any loans ever again as well.

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#34
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Re: Ransomware 2017

03/05/2017 3:42 PM

The UK government claim that nothing can be done about scam calls from other countries. That seems a bit hard to believe. BT, Sky, and Virgin are the main telecom providers. The combined brains of all 3 cannot dream up a way to somwhow block the originators of telescam. It doesn't inspire much confidence in them.

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