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Ransomware Hits the Cloud

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By now you know that ransomware, malware that encrypts a victim's computer files until they pay a ransom in Bitcoins, usually a few hundred dollars, is a particularly nasty piece of programming.  Now that it can infect cloud systems, it's even worse.

Cloud computing systems are generally considered cheaper and safer than on-site computing.  In at least one case though, a company has experienced a ransomeware attack on their entire system, which is in the cloud.

In this case, one person at the firm Children in Film, which uses Citrix to run applications and maps cloud drives as local drives on the computers they use, opened a malicious email attachment.  Within a few minutes, no files stored on the cloud could be accessed.  Citrix employs antivirus software, but the ransomware was built to get around detection.

Fortunately in this case, Citrix keeps daily backups so they didn't have to pay the ransom, although it did take about a week to get all their files properly restored.  In another stroke of luck, the encryption was done using TeslaCrypt.  TeslaCrypt has some coding weaknesses and there is an antidote to it: TeslaDecoder.

In an ever-escalating spiral, hackers are creating more powerful and more pervasive ransomware while security firms are developing ways to mitigate or completely reduce the damage done by them.  If you become a victim of ransomware, contact specialists like us to weigh your options.  The more victims pay ransomware ransoms, the more hackers will keep using it.  Only by making it not worth their while will ransomware become a thing of the past.