Crypto ransomware threats: a growing concern

Crypto ransomware threats: a growing concern

This post is just to warn our community about some virulent ransomware attacks that are currently circulating. At this point, none of our clients have been affected, but businesses in many industries (including banks, hospitals, and government institutions) have. The fallout has included loss of money, time, reputation, and public trust.

“Locky,” “Robin Hood,” “Bart”….you may or may not have heard their names, but the reality is that these kinds of schemes are increasing, and their targets are more often than not American businesses.

So, how to protect yourself? First, a little background, and then some advice.

What is crypto ransomware?

Crypto ransomware comes under the cover of spam emails that arrive in your inbox. When you, the unwitting recipient, open the attachment included with the suspicious email, the malware rapidly encrypts your data, rendering it inaccessible. From that moment onward, the only way to retrieve your data is to decrypt it with a private key which is available (you guessed it) only after you pay a ransom. If you refuse to pay, the key is destroyed and your data remains forever encrypted.

This is not a position you want to be in. So, here are some thoughts on how to protect yourself…

How to protect yourself from ransomware threats and phishing schemes

There’s no magic bullet that will save you from crypto ransomware threats such as Locky, Robin Hood, or Bart. However, there are common-sense protective measures that you can take, to keep your information safe.

–Check the identity and origin of emails you receive. Do not open emails (and especially email attachments) from senders you don’t recognize.

–Learn to identify and avoid phishing emails. Phishing emails are often disguised as emails from legitimate sources. Confirm the identity of the email sender by checking the sender’s email address, and confirming it is accurate (and not a fake address).

–Keep spam filters tight.

–Keep all software up-to-date.

–Store data offsite (either on the cloud or external drives that are kept offline). In the unfortunate event your data is affected, your information can be restored and you can ignore any ransom demands.

–Schedule daily incremental backups (cloud-based backup software can do that)

Perhaps our most important warning is that every new email should be read with some degree of skepticism. If you are ever in doubt as to an email’s authenticity, it is best to check with your IT team before opening any attachments, and especially before complying with any instructions.

From the scammers’ toolkit: social engineering

Finally, scammers and malware criminals are increasingly using a technique called “social engineering.” This term covers a wide range of ways they attempt to gain your trust and convince you to comply with their instructions. Phishing emails may, for example, include your name, personal information, or the branding of a respected company.

You may have heard of the Microsoft “Tech Support” phone scam which has been aggressively targeting home users. This is an example of social engineering, where the criminal impersonates a Microsoft help desk technician, convincing the victim to allow them to remotely access their computer, download malware and even pay for the service! The wickedness of this scheme is compounded by the degree of complicity required of the victim.

Educate yourself and stay aware

There’s no better time than now to learn about about how to protect yourself and your team from crypto ransomware threats, phishing schemes, and the range of cyber scams that criminals employ in trying to access your information and steal your hard-earned cash.

To read more about the ransomware threats we mention above, here are a few articles that address the topic:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/02/locky-crypto-ransomware-rides-in-on-malicious-word-document-macro/

https://www.onthewire.io/new-bart-ransomware-released-by-locky-crew/

More information about the Microsoft “Tech Support” Phone Scam can be found below. Some of these articles are on the older side, but unfortunately the scam still persists, with some variations.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/security

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/malwarebytes


LimeTech is a creative tech company with a focus on innovation and adaptive change. We use technical know-how, design skills, and deep experience in entrepreneurship to help companies reach their business goals. Our projects include mobile app development, IT infrastructure planning, and remote work solutions. Get in touch today and find out what we can do for you.

security    

5 easy steps to get ready for your web design project [updated]

5 easy steps to get ready for your web design project [updated]

Get ready for your web design project by taking these 5 easy steps. You'll be more organized and better prepared for success.

Read more
5 ways to gain trust with your e-commerce store

5 ways to gain trust with your e-commerce store

Customers who visit your new e-commerce store aren't confident yet. Gain trust with your e-commerce store using these five methods.

Read more
Planning a business website? Answer these 5 questions to get some clarity. [updated]

Planning a business website? Answer these 5 questions to get some clarity. [updated]

Are you in the process of planning a business website or new website design project? Congratulations! You’re taking a step toward one of the most important improvements you can do for your business.

Read more
7 types of design constraints in digital product development

7 types of design constraints in digital product development

Today we talk about the 7 types of design constraints involved with a new project. And how those limits create a foundation for creativity + innovation...

Read more
Top 50 tech websites [updated]

Top 50 tech websites [updated]

A collection of some of the best tech websites available in 2022 Writing a blog about tech? Trying to get the dish on the latest SF startups? Don’t waste time....

Read more
Introducing content creation services

Introducing content creation services

Content helps you gain trust, educate customers, cultivate leads, and spread brand awareness. LimeTech now offers content creation services for businesses everywhere.

Read more
Discord server setups now available

Discord server setups now available

New in 2022, we're now offering Discord server setups for entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes. Great for team communications and community building.

Read more
FRESH TECH: February 2022

FRESH TECH: February 2022

Welcome to our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. Monthly theme: Fresh design and tips to thrive in the New Year!

Read more
The way forward

The way forward

The past several months have seen us through a period of deep reflection and a re-envisioning of the meaning and direction for our business.

Read more
FRESH TECH: December 2021

FRESH TECH: December 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: Fresh design and tips....

Read more
FRESH TECH: November 2021

FRESH TECH: November 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: diversity & creativity.....

Read more
Report back from Adobe MAX — 2021

Report back from Adobe MAX — 2021

Our team shares highlights from last week’s virtual conference, October 26-28, 2021 Inspiration Who was an inspiring speaker? Best quotes? From Addie: “Creativity is a fundamental force.” Laura Jordan Bambach....

Read more
Fresh Tech: October 2021

Fresh Tech: October 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: reimagine with intention.....

Read more
On remote and hybrid transitions

On remote and hybrid transitions

On remote and hybrid transitions: how the right approach can get your company ahead Millions of companies were forced to make the fast pivot to remote work in the early....

Read more
Cloud migration FAQs

Cloud migration FAQs

Cloud migration FAQs Cloud migrations have been a big deal over the past couple years, as thousands (if not millions) of companies did a fast pivot to remote work during....

Read more
Fresh Tech: September 2021

Fresh Tech: September 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we shine some....

Read more
Fresh Tech: August 2021

Fresh Tech: August 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we are gearing....

Read more
LimeTech’s website design process

LimeTech’s website design process

LimeTech’s website design process: Your new website. With all the things. You’ve got big ambitions for your site. But do you have a plan? Don’t worry — we do. Here....

Read more
Fresh Tech: July 2021

Fresh Tech: July 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we continue the....

Read more
Fresh Tech: June 2021

Fresh Tech: June 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we enjoy the....

Read more
iOS or Android for your new mobile app?

iOS or Android for your new mobile app?

iOS or Android for your new mobile app? These 5 questions will help you decide In this multi-part series we talk about how to explore, vet, and develop your great....

Read more
Fresh Tech: May 2021

Fresh Tech: May 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech May — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, see how....

Read more
How to help your web design team succeed at your website build project

How to help your web design team succeed at your website build project

How to help your web design team succeed  You’ve agreed on the price and terms for your web project. Now, your kickoff meeting is approaching. Here are our tips on....

Read more
How cloud computing can help your staff succeed at working remotely

How cloud computing can help your staff succeed at working remotely

With COVID-19, a sudden transition The fast conversion to remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic has been a bumpy road for all. Some companies have weathered the transition better....

Read more
10 advantages of cloud computing in 2020

10 advantages of cloud computing in 2020

The cloud is the message The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened theneed for companies to adopt digital businessmodels—and only cloud platforms can provide theagility, scalability, and innovation required for thistransition. From....

Read more
Cloud computing: key to business resilience in tough times

Cloud computing: key to business resilience in tough times

With COVID-19, fast pivots are the norm The coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses into an unanticipated pivot to remote work and telecommuting. Companies of all sizes now face massive pressures....

Read more
Onboarding remote workers in the age of COVID-19

Onboarding remote workers in the age of COVID-19

Onboarding remote workers in the age of COVID-19 With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a hard pivot to remove work, it’s likely your HR team has their hands....

Read more
Website hosting and security in the age of COVID-19

Website hosting and security in the age of COVID-19

More than ever, your website is one of your company’s most valuable assets. As business moves increasingly online, you should be taking active measures to protect the integrity of your....

Read more
How taking your company remote may benefit your company in the long run

How taking your company remote may benefit your company in the long run

COVID-19 has demanded hard, fast change from business owners and workers alike. After facing the pain of suddenly taking your company remote, you might also discover some surprising advantages. Here....

Read more
Creating a disaster recovery plan in the age of COVID-19

Creating a disaster recovery plan in the age of COVID-19

6 steps to creating a disaster recovery plan While it may seem like working through a pandemic is your worst-case scenario, you should still take time to cover all the....

Read more
Business location security in the age of COVID-19

Business location security in the age of COVID-19

Your team has gone remote and your location is either not in operation, or only partly so. However, your office space is still home to valuable equipment and data. While....

Read more
Remote Support Services

Remote Support Services

Remote support that’s right for your business. Online technical support that works on your schedule, not the other way around. Remote support services for Mac-based businesses. Struggling with chronic IT....

Read more
VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP Phone Systems

Say goodbye to your old phone system. A VoIP phone system is flexible, affordable, and has more features than your traditional business phone setup. More and more companies are converting....

Read more
Mega-list of Bay Area startup resources

Mega-list of Bay Area startup resources

Mega-list of Bay Area startup resources UPDATED IN 2022! Whether you’re a newbie entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran of the startup scene, here are 40+ Bay Area startup resources to....

Read more
Who should hire an IT consulting firm?

Who should hire an IT consulting firm?

For today’s blog, we wanted to take a moment to discuss the topic of who should hire an IT consulting firm. Working with an outside IT provider is not a....

Read more
How to Encrypt Your Mac With FileVault

How to Encrypt Your Mac With FileVault

What is FileVault? FileVault is a data encryption software that is included in all Apple computers (OS X 10.7 or higher). When FileVault is enabled, all the data on the....

Read more
Error When Sharing Outlook Calendar

Error When Sharing Outlook Calendar

Error When Sharing Outlook Calendar Some of our clients have reported a permissions error message when adding a shared calendar in Outlook 2011. When attempting to add the shared calendar, they receive....

Read more
Honing Your Focus in an Age of Attention Deficits

Honing Your Focus in an Age of Attention Deficits

Honing your focus in an age of constant contact (and constant interruption) is challenging business. Gloria Mark, a Professor in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine has found that the....

Read more
Attention Writers: Upcoming Social Media Management Class

Attention Writers: Upcoming Social Media Management Class

Writer or Artist? Confused by Social Media? You’ve heard the success stories of new entrepreneurs building a massive following on social media. In fact, the potential for one person to....

Read more
East Bay Coworking: The Latest

East Bay Coworking: The Latest

East Bay Coworking These days there are many options for coworking in the East Bay, and a lot of them are new. Some of the more unique locations are mixing....

Read more
Five Fast Shortcuts for Mac Users

Five Fast Shortcuts for Mac Users

Most great magic tricks rely on sleight-of-hand techniques. Wow your friends with a different kind of magic using these five fast shortcuts for Mac Users. Quick Calculations Tired of searching....

Read more
Protect Yourself From Heartbleed

Protect Yourself From Heartbleed

Protect Yourself From Heartbleed You’ve probably seen some of the security alerts regarding the Heartbleed Bug. This security vulnerability involves the widely used encryption software known as OpenSSL. OpenSSL is....

Read more
Smart Methods for Password Creation

Smart Methods for Password Creation

It’s challenging to come up with secure passwords that will protect your data from online crooks. The crooks are, in fact, becoming more and more savvy with each passing year.....

Read more
What Do We Love?

What Do We Love?

Giving Thanks for The Good Things As 2013 quickly draws to a close, it’s a great moment for us to take stock of all we have to be grateful for.....

Read more
Watch Out for SEO Scams

Watch Out for SEO Scams

Watch out for SEO scams If you run a small business like we do, you probably receive countless emails pushing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. Many will make rash promises....

Read more
For Entrepreneurs: Contact Management and CRMs

For Entrepreneurs: Contact Management and CRMs

If sales is the lifeblood of any business, then your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system would have to be the blood bank. Without a centralized place to keep track of....

Read more
Techie Perks in SF

Techie Perks in SF

There are always a thousand reasons to appreciate why we live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here are just a few of the latest. Living Innovation Zones–High Tech Playgrounds....

Read more
San Francisco Small Business Resources

San Francisco Small Business Resources

A Hidden Gem: San Francisco’s Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center If you own your own business in the Bay Area or you’re thinking of launching a small business, you may be surprised....

Read more
Great Startup Checklists

Great Startup Checklists

A Bag O’ Great Startup Checklists Time to get your startup on! Here’s a curated group of checklists for startup founders. You can never be too rich or too thin....

Read more
Thoughts on Persistence

Thoughts on Persistence

We’ve all been inspired this week by the story of Diana Nyad’s successful swim from Cuba to Florida. Not only was this an extraordinary achievement in terms of distance covered—110....

Read more
Your Privacy on the Web

Your Privacy on the Web

Somebody’s Watching You With widespread media attention on topic of domestic spying by the NSA, fear and paranoia are plaguing the interwebs. Beyond the conspiracy theorists, many regular folks are....

Read more
When Your Phone System Fails

When Your Phone System Fails

  Client Case Study: Total Phone System Failure Nobody likes a crisis, but when one happens, the best outcome is a quick and effective resolution. Since we’ve been involved in....

Read more
Founder Friday at Google SF

Founder Friday at Google SF

I recently witnessed some of the energy and vitality that distinguishes the local tech scene when I attended a Women 2.0 Founder Friday event at Google’s offices in San Francisco.....

Read more
Ten Online Tools To Help You Be More Productive

Ten Online Tools To Help You Be More Productive

Save Time And Be More Productive With These Ten Online Tools It seems like there are a bazillion applications vying for your subscription these days. It can be hard to....

Read more
DIY Laptop Repair Resources

DIY Laptop Repair Resources

Ready to Try Your Hand at DIY Laptop Repair? When DIY laptop repair is your only option, try doing a little research before you take things into your own hands.....

Read more
LimeTech Yelp Reviews

LimeTech Yelp Reviews

Our Positive Yelp Reviews Were Filtered We recently revisited our business page on the website Yelp.com and were surprised to see that our positive reviews were “filtered.” In other words,....

Read more
What to Do If You Spill Water on Your Laptop

What to Do If You Spill Water on Your Laptop

What to Do If You Spill Water on Your Laptop If you are like us, you never thought seriously about what to do when you spill water on your laptop…until....

Read more
What is the cloud?

What is the cloud?

What is the cloud? Confused by the idea of cloud computing but afraid to ask? Here’s our best explanation of this technology which is transforming industries of all kinds–perhaps even....

Read more

Upcoming Bay Area Tech Events

It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget that when you live in the Bay Area, you have easy access to some of the....

Read more

Cloud Storage Price War Brings Discounts

As reported today in TechCrunch, Amazon and Google seem to be locked into a cloud storage price war. As is the case with such battles, cloud customers stand to win.....

Read more

Post-Sandy Recovery and Disaster Planning

It is a tough week for a lot of East Coast small business entrepreneurs, and our sympathies are with everyone. There are few greater challenges than facing the aftermath of....

Read more

Opportunity Knocks with National Small Business Week

National Small Business Week is coming up fast, on May 20-26, 2012. A number of organizations and businesses are putting together events geared toward recognizing and enhancing the success of....

Read more

A Small Business WordPress Website For You

You Need a WordPress Website, But Who’s Got the Time? Imagine you run a busy local coffee shop and you’re at the store, setting up shop at 5am every morning.....

Read more

More April Startup Events

Got a little extra time this month? Here are a few of the larger startup events coming up later this month in the San Francisco Bay Area. April Startup Events....

Read more

Protect Yourself From the Mac Flashback Trojan

For all those who prefer Mac computers solely because they don’t get viruses, the jig may be up. A piece of malware called the Flashback trojan has reportedly now infected....

Read more

Startups and the JOBS Act

Seems like everyone wants to get on the startup bandwagon these days. In case you were on a retreat or were completely unplugged over the past week, President Obama has....

Read more

Computer How-To Articles: Improving Your Computer’s Performance

How to Improve Your Computer’s Performance Every so often, we like to take on a mini research project just for you. Today we’ll be giving you a list of how-to....

Read more

Tech Overload? Join the National Day of Unplugging

With the mass proliferation of smartphones, many of us struggle with the obsessive urge to constantly check email and update our social media profiles. The endless opportunity for distraction may....

Read more

Donate Your Used Computer Locally

Where to donate used computers and electronics in the Bay Area Seeing as we’re in the Bay Area, you’ve got no excuse not to dispose of your electronics the right....

Read more

The East Bay Startup Scene Heats Up

We’re probably not the only entrepreneurs who have wondered why the East Bay isn’t more of a hub for innovation–especially considering the proximity to UC Berkeley and the comparatively affordable....

Read more

SF Startup Social

If you’re thinking of launching a Bay Area startup, then you’re missing out if you’re not already immersed in the vibrant scene of mixers and pitch events in San Francisco’s....

Read more

Join the Fight Against SOPA/PIPA

Looking for a way to participate in the fight against SOPA/PIPA without actually taking your site down? Local San Francisco startup CloudFlare has created an Anti-Censorship App that will enable....

Read more

For Startups on the Move

We recently had an engaging conversation with David Bergeron of T3 Advisors. They are doing some really innovative work in the real estate sector, with a special focus on helping....

Read more

Girl Geeks Unite at Perforce

You missed out big-time if you weren’t able to get onto the attendee list for yesterday’s Girl Geek Dinner, sponsored by one of our local Alameda neighbors, Perforce.com. Perforce is....

Read more

On Protect IP / SOPA and Internet Freedom

By now, you should have heard of the controversy around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act. Not only do both Acts have the potential to limit internet freedom, but they could have crippling effects on the startup sector.

Read more

Local Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Classes and Workshops for Small Biz Entrepreneurs Not getting out enough these days? Tired of stewing in your own juices? There’s no excuse with so many great local workshops,....

Read more

Jazz Hands, P2P and Direct Democracy

Occupy Wall Street Goes Tech Much of the discussion around Occupy Wall Street has weighed in heavily on the nature, character and origin of the protestors and whether they’ll ever....

Read more

Multi-Touch Computing on Any Surface

A Screen-less Touchscreen from OmniTouch If you’re willing to brave the silly factor and can handle the weight of an odd projector perched on your shoulder, it is now possible....

Read more

Is Cloud Computing the Right Choice?

To Cloud or Not to Cloud… Still trying to get your head around cloud computing? Doubtful about whether your business is a good candidate for the cloud? All this month,....

Read more

Find Out What’s Slowing Down Your Mac

You’re Wondering Why Your Mac is Slow? If your Mac has been acting lethargic lately and you’re tired of watching little spinning beach balls, you might have maxed out your....

Read more

Expect Great Things From Your Prospective IT Provider

The hunt for a great IT team can be a challenging process. Here’s a list of the five most important traits you should look for in a prospective IT provider…....

Read more

5 Ways to Save for Your Business

Unbeatable Savings for Your Biz Whether you’re saving for a rainy day or just saving, sometimes it’s a tough job to find great deals for your business. However, in the....

Read more

Report Back from WordCamp SF 2011

I’m finally just now getting a chance to report back from this week’s WordPress WordCamp conference in San Francisco. I attended the final day of the three-day event, which included....

Read more

Anonymous Hacking Collective Takes on BART

Interesting news to hear that our very own BART transit system has been targeted by the infamous hacking collective known as Anonymous. While we all love to support our local....

Read more

Learn About WordPress CMS at WordCamp

  Calling all fans of the WordPress content management system: if the economy doesn’t implode and we’re all still around after August 2nd, you should check out the upcoming WordPress....

Read more

MS Exchange or Google Apps for Your Business?

Small businesses are popping up everywhere. Even in this economy, the office space in the SoMa (South of Market) area in San Francisco is dwindling. Which makes me think that....

Read more

Outsourcing Life’s Little Tasks

Got a pile of laundry and no time for washing? Looking for someone reliable to pick up your lunch? TaskRabbit.com is an online service that connects people who need to....

Read more

What To Do When You Lose Your iPhone?

First, you’ll deny, rage, bargain, and quickly pass through all 7 stages of grief. You’ll probably try to retrace your footsteps and send a few pleading texts to your phone.....

Read more

What’s New with OS X 10.7 Lion? Efficiency!

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion brings a lot of great new utilities to the table. First off…let’s talk just a little about multi-touch and launch pad. I think most folks....

Read more

The Rising Trend in Standing Workstations

Lately, we’ve noticed the increasing proliferation of standing desks at a range of offices in San Francisco. This may be old news for some, since this kind of setup has....

Read more

How the iPad is Changing Business by Bringing People Together

We’ve all heard about the ways the iPad and iPad 2 tablets will help us live happier, sexier lives through our enhanced ability to know and see anything, anywhere, anytime. ....

Read more

iPad 2 to Take Over Mobile Teleconferencing

As mobile technology advances steadily, it becomes more clear by the year that we are just that much closer to being truly connected to each other. Emails and voice serve....

Read more

Comparing Online Trouble Ticketing Systems

I know how time-consuming it can be to find the right help desk ticketing solution for your environment. We’ve spent hours researching this topic, creating demo accounts, and comparing functionality....

Read more

Some Tips and Apps for Tax Season

  If you have an inkling that you might want to upgrade your business technology, 2011 is the year to do it, thanks to generous deductions and bonus depreciations through....

Read more

Blog Launch Today

Welcome to the new blog for LimeTech. We’ll be using this platform to keep you updated about the IT work we’re doing with all kinds of cool businesses in the....

Read more

Contact us

Type of project
*Don’t worry – we won’t share your email.
*Don’t worry – we won’t share your email.