CryptoWall is a form of ransomware that uses the same encryption and extortion mechanisms as a previous threat, dubbed CryptoLocker. Local files are encrypted using a randomly generated 2048-bit RSA key pair that’s associated with the infected computer. While the public key is copied on the infected computer, the private key can only be obtained by paying for it within an allocated amount of time. If the payment is not delivered, the private key is threatened to be deleted, leaving no possible unencrypting method for recovering the locked files.One of the most common infection vectors relies on drive-by-attacks through infected ads on legitimate websites, but it has also been known to infect via infected downloaded apps.
CryptoWall infection can be limited and sometimes prevented with a few best practices:
- Use an antivirus solution that is constantly updated and able to perform active scanning
- Schedule file backups (either locally on in the cloud), so data can be recovered in case of corruption
- Follow safe internet practices by not visiting questionable websites, not clicking links or opening attachments in emails from uncertain sources, and not providing personally identifiable information on public chats rooms or forums
- Implement / enable ad-blocking capacities and anti-spam filters
- Virtualise or completely disable Flash, as it has been repeatedly used as an infection vector
- Train employees in identifying social engineering attempts and spear-phishing emails
- Enable software restriction policies. System administrators need to enforce group policy objects into the registry to block executables from specific locations. This can only be achieved when running a Windows Professional or Windows Server edition. The Software Restriction Policies option can be found in the Local Security Policy editor.
How We Can Help You
We offer a strong combination of protection by using award-winning anti-virus software such as Bitdefender, our HOTBackup solution can provide image-level backups of your critical systems, with automated replication and recovery to our off-site UK-based location, through to web blocking and network packet analysis. We can create a Windows group policy to restrict what executable files can be run from where.
By routing your incoming email through our email filter we can remove infected mail attachments and delete spam. In addition, we’re WatchGuard partners so we can also secure your ‘front door’ by blocking many threats straight at the firewall, before they have a chance to infect.
Contact us to discuss how we can help secure your business.