Just took a Windows laptop job in for an elderly man

It is the old “Don’t click” the attachment within an email from an unknown sender, time to grab the backup as crypto malware holding the customer to ransom!

Interesting conversation with the customer

  • The customer paid $1 for a unique “Backup My PC service” offer… only the current item was synchronised offsite, and no file versions saved making the offsite backup useless now with unusable versions replacing all correct data files.
  • Dropbox installed, not all the files live there of course and every  file needed to be manually un-deleted
  • Has Google account and Picasa photo backup – good from google, only updating files with valid extensions for file type (not overwriting the existing photos!)

The real issue with this scenario is that the un-savvy computer user does not understand how they got into this situation with crypto-ware in the first place so adding offsite backups will add complications and creates the side effect is an unwillingness to pay money every month for something they do not understand.

The digital gap is becoming too large between the “can” and the”cannot” computer users to be safe. Someone is always going to be hurt by such malicious software.

Nice save

As the customer has no usable file versions of their data, I restored the computer system from a backup taken a year ago from a previous service. (just a year older today)

Watch out for:

  • What customers trust in online software is given away without understanding why or how. Talk to a computer guru if unsure.
  • USB backups in any crypto malware incident will also be useless (potentially).
  • Re-enforces the need for offsite backup procedures.
  • All network mapped network drives will have documents encrypted too.
  • Can you guarantee the system doesn’t have a traces of the malware holding you to ransom, wipe that computer installation and start again?
  • Not all offsite backups are equal, ensure you get a versioning feature and test how to restore any file.
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