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  1. #1
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    Ransomware attacks get more personal


    On Security

    Ransomware attacks get more personal


    By Susan Bradley

    With ransomware becoming so common these days, it feels like we're getting a bit numb to this especially malicious and potentially expensive form of digital attack.

    But a recent ransomware event in San Francisco is a reminder that we must stay ever vigilant to threats targeting our digital devices.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/ransomware-attacks-get-more-personal/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Sometimes I think what we need is a big computer condom we can put on whenever we check mail or the internet. Sandboxes, virtual machines, anti-malware, lions, tigers, bears, oh my!!!

    It's toughest on a small business since it's not unusual to get (cold) emails from unknown sources and these can and will contain attachments - frankly, I hate that practice. But it's so common that it's difficult to avoid.

    One of the things that is needed is to have document "viewers" that lack all the bells and whistles that full blown versions of the full product. That will at least allow the receiver to preview a document in relative safety. These viewers could also be setup with something like Sandboxie to open a sandbox when viewing a document. I've done something like that in the past when I owned my own small business.

    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." --Thomas Jefferson
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    A friend got hit with ransomware. He SAID he just opened an email and that triggered the ransom screen. Can just opening an email do this? I was under the impression you needed to open an attachment. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Depends on the infection. There have been some OS/mail/browser bugs that only required you to open an email, although usually people don't admit to having clicked OK 3 times before the infection hit.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Paul
    Would turning off HTML viewing in the email client protect one from such?
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by nantucketbob View Post
    A friend got hit with ransomware. He SAID he just opened an email and that triggered the ransom screen. Can just opening an email do this? I was under the impression you needed to open an attachment. Thanks.
    To some degree, this depends on the email client. If your client is setup to automatically display everything embedded in an email then there are some ways to embed code that can be triggered when you open the email.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  7. #7
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    wavy, most email programs prevent remote access unless you tell them otherwise. This prevents drive by downloads from mail, but doesn't prevent you clicking on links and then getting hit.

    cheers, Paul

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  9. #8
    Lounger
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    I recently had a ransomware popup for no apparent reason. I hadn't clicked anything.
    Fortunately, it turned out to be fake. But how could it have popped up on its own?

  10. #9
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    It was probably a website pop-up. Most browsers block those but it may have snuck through.
    Was it whilst browsing?

    cheers, Paul

  11. #10
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    Hi Paul,
    There's a good chance it was while browsing, but I have a pop-up blocker.
    David

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