Security Alert – Petya Next-Generation Ransomware
The newest ransomware (malicious software that interferes with
your computer's functioning and requires a ransom to restore it)
is even more problematic than previous types, because it not
only prevents access to your documents — it locks you out of
your computer entirely. This file, called Petya, is typically
transmitted via email. If you open the attachment, or follow the
link, it begins running on your computer.
Once this happens, you'll see a series of things happening,
including the Blue Screen of Death, the Windows Check Disk
running, and a screen showing a skull and informing you of the
ransom you have to pay to get your computer to function again.
If you choose to pay the ransom, you'll have to use another
computer to do it.
Fortunately, you have a couple of other options to try. Take
your computer to an IT technician, who may be able to recover
your system. Or, if possible, shut down your computer
immediately when you see the Blue Screen of Death. At this
point, you may still be able to salvage your files.
Of course, the best strategy is to prevent the file from
infecting your computer in the first place. To do this, use
standard malware prevention techniques:
Be wary of all email you receive,
especially from people you don't know. Don't open any attachments
from an unknown source and don't follow any links unless you know
where they go.
Use complex, varied passwords and
keep them private.
Only download software from known,
Keep your operating system, browser,
and all applications up to date. Regularly install security patches
and other updates.
Use an anti-virus and anti-malware
application, and run it regularly to ensure continuous protection.
Perhaps most importantly, back up all
your files regularly. Use a reliable offsite backup and recovery
While there is a lot of potential
danger in computer and online use, there are also many steps you
can take to protect yourself.