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IT support HoustonIf you or any of your staff use the cloud for email service, such as Office 365, you should be aware that a new ransomware strain has been discovered that can cause havoc. It is called ransomcloud. IT support experts in Houston recommend a number of precautionary tactics to stop it in its tracks. The problem with this new ransomware is that it can completely encrypt all messages once it has gained access to an email account, and the only prevention currently is to intercept the hackers and stop them from gaining that access.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a virus that causes significant problems with a company’s systems, which will only be removed after giving ransom to the hacker/s. There are three main types of ransomware, usually classed as scareware, screen locker, and file-encrypting. Scareware will alert you that your computer is infected by a virus that can only be removed after the ransom is paid. Screen locker ransomware is similar, but your screen will be completely locked until the hacker is paid. File-encrypting, such as ransomcloud, is a virus that will encrypt files or email until funds are received.

The usual way this type of ransom is paid is by way of Bitcoin, which is completely untraceable, again playing into hackers’ hands. It can be moved across borders without a paper trail and needs no involvement of authorities, working completely outside the banking system.

How Ransomcloud Works

The worry of IT support companies in Houston is that it is so easy, particularly for employees, to be taken in by this particular virus. It will arrive in the form of an email, probably purporting to come from a valid, large company and offer the recipient some free help. This is most likely to be an invitation to download antivirus software to protect your cloud email account, but it will not necessarily be restricted to that. The idea is that the hackers need control of your email account login details, so it may suggest that you stay logged in while they install protective software. Unfortunately, once they gain access to the email account and potentially all the email accounts on the same server, all of these accounts will be affected by an encryption protocol that will not be removed unless a ransom is paid.

Next Steps

If your company is looking for an IT support provider in Houston, look no further than ICS. We have many years of experience dealing with this sort of virus. As a starting point, we recommend that you alert your staff to the possibility that this type of email may be landing in their inbox and that they should be very alert to each and every email they receive. As explained, it can be difficult to differentiate between valid emails and those sent from hackers, so careful consideration of the language used and any incorrect spellings or punctuation inconsistencies should flag up a problem. Finally, if there is any worry at all about the origin of an email, they should refrain from opening it and should certainly not click on any attachments contained within the message. Contact us now for immediate help with this or any other security issues.