• Protecting Against Encryption Malware in Adobe


Recently we’ve seen a wide increase in encryption malware, which is a particularly nasty kind of virus that will scan your computer files and any files you access through the server, and encrypt them. The virus then tries to force you to pay a ransom to have the files decrypted.  Once your files have been encrypted by the malware, your only options are to restore them from your backup, or pay the ransom to get them back (this is highly inadvisable, as you are funding a criminal enterprise and you may not get your data back anyway).  Though there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of getting a virus, a strong suite of security products such as anti-virus software, a spam filtering solution, and a web filtering appliance can go a long way toward preventing getting a virus on your network.  Maintaining a proper backup of your files is the best way to minimize the damage that can occur from encryption malware (or hard drive failures!).  If you aren’t contracted with us for backup maintenance, we recommend having a designated person to monitor the backup, so any problems can be spotted right away.  If you are unsure about the status of your backup or if anyone is proactively monitoring it, please call us at 570-408-9888!

As we said above, although there is no way to completely prevent the risk of malware, there are other methods you can use to make your network more secure.  One of the more recent ways we’ve seen viruses attack our clients’ networks is through Adobe Flash Player, which is embedded in a multitude of sites around the internet.  Although you may be visiting a perfectly legitimate website, the older versions of Flash Player contain vulnerabilities which allow hackers to write malicious code that will execute when Flash content is played.  Once this starts, the coded malware begins to run on your computer, encrypting your files and moving through your network.  The same thing can happen with Adobe Reader if you open a PDF from an infected email.

Luckily, Adobe is aware of these concerns and has taken steps to enhance security in their updates.  You should always have your Adobe Flash and Reader settings checked to apply updates automatically.  It only takes a minute to make sure your Flash player and Adobe Reader are up-to-date.

To check if you’re already running the latest version of Adobe, go to the Adobe About page.  Here you’ll see the version you’re currently running, and the latest version put out by Adobe.  Check to make sure your version matches the current one for whatever browser you’re using (here, Chrome is circled).  If it doesn’t match, you can click on the Player Download Center and get the latest version there.



To make sure your Adobe Flash Player is receiving updates automatically, click on the Start button and then on Control Panel.  In the Control Panel, you’ll see the Flash Player link.


Click that, and the Flash Player Settings Manager box will pop up.  Click on the Updates tab, and make sure “Allow Adobe to install updates (recommended)” is checked.  That’s all you need to do there!


To make sure your Adobe Reader is receiving updates automatically, click on the Start button, then on All Programs, and then on Adobe Reader.  In Adobe Reader, click on Edit, and scroll down to the bottom and choose Preferences.


In the Preferences box, scroll to the bottom on the left-hand menu and click on Updater.  From there you can make sure the “Automatically install updates” option is checked.



These quick precautions can save you a lot of hassle and money by helping in the fight against encryption malware.  As always, use safe browsing habits.  Don’t go to untrustworthy sites or open attachments from sources you don’t recognize.  And remember that a monitored backup solution is the best way to recover from a malware attack.  If you feel like your computers might be at risk of infection, or if you’d like more information on security products or data backup solutions, give us a call today at 570-408-9888.  We’re here to help keep your network secure!

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