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Security Alert: Encryption malware

Recently we encountered a particularly insidious form of malware and we wanted to ensure that our customers have the tools to protect themselves.

One of our customers downloaded an attachment from an unknown sender which included a form of Ransom-ware malware. Ransom-ware encrypts a victim’s files and then asks for a ransom payment (£375.00 often increasing to £1000) to decrypt the files and restore access to the owner. Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorised parties can read it. Unfortunately, this version malware is constantly evolving making it difficult for Antivirus database software to identify it as a threat before it is too late.

Tips for users to protect against malware:

There are 5 simple rules for protecting yourself against malware.

  1. Never open an email attachment from someone you do not know.
  2. Do not click on website advertisement banners or pop ups –
    • Website adverts and pop ups may contain malicious one click download links which will infect your machine
  3. Ensure that your Antivirus is up to date.
  4. Ensure that any applications like Java or Adobe are fully updated.
    • Un-patched or un-updated versions of these applications can leave you vulnerable.
  5. When installing new software ensure that you are downloading it from a legitimate site.
    • Also be mindful when downloading your software as it might ask you if you want to install third-party software for free. The answer is ALWAYS no.

Tips for system administrators to protect against malware:

  1. Ensure all machines are up to date – Windows updates protect you.
  2. Enable administrator rights on users machines.
    • If your users want to download something, they need your administrator permission first.
  3. Run regular back ups. Following the 3-2-1 backup rule.


Final note

Illegal file-sharing services. It goes without saying that you should not be using these services for the very fact that it is illegal to pirate copywrite material. However, to all home users who may use these services please bare this in mind:

There is little to no quality control when it comes to illegal file downloads. It is very easy for users with malevolent intentions to upload a file to a file-sharing service which includes hidden viruses and malware or even to name a malware file after a popular download to entice you into downloading and subsequently infecting your machine. You have been warned.


Office print out

If you would like a print out of the 5 simple rules for protecting yourself against malware to stick up around your office as a reminder to users please contact us on and we will send one through to you.


If you would like more information on malware/ viruses or fear that you may have been affected (or infected) by malicious software please do not hesitate to contact us!


Phone: 023 8024 9820

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As of 3rd April 2018, ITC is now proud to be part of Net Primates incorporating all of the existing products, services, and customers that have previously been supported by ITC.

For more information please call us on 02381 800 800 or visit