Recently, we have been seeing an increase in the CryptoWall 4.0 malware. CryptoWall 4.0 has been released that displays a redesigned ransom note, new filenames, and now encrypts a file’s name along with its data. The most significant change in CryptoWall 4.0 is that it now also encrypts the filenames of the encrypted files. Each file will have its name changed to a unique encrypted name like 27p9k967z.x1nep or 9242on6c.6la9.
The filenames are probably encrypted to make it more difficult to know what files need to be recovered and to make it more frustrating for the victim. Listed below are some measures that should be taken to help protect yourself and your company from becoming infected from these malware attacks.
Protecting yourself from Cryptowall 4.0
How can you protect yourself from CryptoWall 4.0 and other forms of ransomware? By following the same protection rules for all malware, including:
- Make sure your operating system, anti-virus, firewall, and other security software are all up-to-date.
- Install and enable pop-up blockers. Criminals often use pop-up ads to spread malware, and the easiest way to avoid accidentally clicking a malicious pop-up is if it never pops up in the first place.
- Never click on a link in an unsolicited email, text, or other messages.
- Never download a zip file or any other attachments you’re not expecting in emails from senders you don’t know and trust.
- Make sure the settings on your phone, tablet, computer or any other Internet-connected device are set so that nothing can be downloaded without your permission.
- When getting messages allegedly from some company or service provider, remember the anti-scam rule “Don’t call me; I’ll call you” – and don’t interact with anyone who breaks it.
In addition to these anti-malware rules, you should also remember to always make regular backup copies of your data and files, just in case some nasty malware (or an ordinary bad-luck hard-drive crash) damages or destroys your files.