A week or so ago I posted about a rogueware/ransomware problem (specifically Trojan Horse Cryptic.AM, aka av.exe etc), and since then I've recieved a lot a traffic to this blog from people going to that specific post.
This makes me a little uneasy, for a couple of reasons. The first is that this must be a fairly common problem people have, otherwise why the interest? The second is that it could be people are striking out trying to find a solution, and I don't think that post really provides any repeatable type solution for this issue.
While Patti Anne & I both have computer backgrounds, neither of us are (were, rather) computer security professionals. Between us we have a fair amount of training, knowledge & experience in how systems work, but neither of us have Computer Science degrees. (I have a degree in History - pretty cool, huh?) I guess what I'm getting at, for anyone who may be searching for answers on how to solve a rogueware/ransomware problem, is we are not experts. It is quite possible that we just got lucky on this one.
My advice is to routinely back up any data files, pictures or anything else that is important to you. Don't forget your favorites. We have a little external drive we bought at Wal-Mart, and we back stuff up to that. It's a very simple thing to do. Scan your drives every day (and don't forget to scan your back up drive, at least everytime you put something on it). Also, be very careful about clicking links inside blog posts.
And although it seems like common sense to me, it bears repeating - never, ever send money to these people. It will not solve your problem, and to make matters worse, you will give criminals your credit card info. If it comes to it, it is better to reinstall the operating system and restore your back-ups. I had to do that late last year - and as a side benefit I found the old PC runs a lot quicker than it used to.