3 things you can do to protect against Crypto Viruses including CryptoLocker
1 – Backup your data The most important and radical solution against crypto-locker , crypto viruses and ransomware is having a regularly updated backup. If you are attacked with ransomware you might find yourself with the alternative of losing your data or paying the criminals. Having an updated backup (less than 24 hours) will provide you with a third and best choice of recovering your data by restoring the latest backup.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that Crypto Locker and other crypto malware will also encrypt files stored on any mapped drives accessible on the network and potentially any files accessible over the network even the non mapped ones.
You have a few options here:
A – Backup to an external hard drive that is disconnected when doing backups.
B – Use an offsite or cloud backup service.
C – Keep a hot spare hard drive or server using virtualization technology isolated from the general use home or business network.
2 – Disable RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol)
As convenient as accessing your computer remotely, using unprotected Remote Desktop connections is the biggest no-no these days since you are opening your computer/network and files to the destructive force millions of criminals. The protocol has been breached multiple times and lacks protection against remote desktop brute force password attacks. You do not need to completely ditch RDP as means to remote accessing your systems, just make sure to implement layers of protection that will prevent hackers from breaking in, some of the methods that will protect you are:
A – Implement a Virtual Private Connection (VPN) to reach your remote desktop computer rather than openly exposing it to the internet. See these articles on how to implement a VPN:
How to configure a site-to-site VPN
B – Implement a 2FA (Two factor Authentication) solution that is compatible with the remote desktop protocol and will require you to click on a second device (like your phone) in order to authorize the remote connection.
3 – Show hidden file extensions
One of the ways crypto viruses like crypto locker is by masquerading executable files as harmless documents to fool you into opening the malware. Having this option enabled will give you additional visual cues that a file might be harmful to your computer.