A new extremely dangerous virus is circulating through email. The virus has the capability to render all files on both the local computer and any network shared drives or folders unusable. It does this through an encryption process, so even if the virus is removed it will not fix the damaged files. The only fix is to pay a “ransom” (currently $300) to obtain the key to decrypt the files. If this ransom is not paid within a specific time frame, the files are potentially lost forever.
What to watch for:
This virus is being transmitted as an attachment to an email. The email typically appears to be a delivery tracking notice of some kind from FedEx, UPS, etc. and appears to be a PDF attachment. If the attachment is opened it triggers the virus. Delivery services including FedEx, UPS, or USPS DO NOT typically send tracking notices as attachments. Any email from one of these companies with an attachment should be considered suspicious and deleted.