What is ransomware?

Honestly, it’s scary! Ransomware is a new strain of virus software that will infect a computer, connect to the network shares, and encrypt data on the network shares. The encrypted data becomes corrupted and no files can be opened. Each file is encrypted and no longer can be opened by the program it was created with.

In an encrypted directory, a text file is created that has a ransom readme. It is the only file that can be opened in the entire directory. That file will list instructions on WHO and HOW to pay to retrieve your files unencrypted from the hacker who built the ransomware.

Typically the cost to buy the unencrypt key is anywhere from $500 to $1,000 or more. The FBI has asked that no business pay the ransom as it encourages the hackers to continue to build more encrypting viruses. Typically, the hacker/virus comes from a criminal outside of the United States.

How do I protect my business from getting infected?

The best start is with training.

Look for suspicious emails and discard them immediately. Make sure that your staff knows they are to always open files and emails on the defensive. If the sender or the file is not recognizable, then do not open. If there are obvious errors, misspellings, or poor language composition in the email - then be extra cautious!

There are many nefarious emails that come through the internet. If something looks funny or incorrect, do not trust it. Always be cautious and never open something that asks you to open and run a program or a macro.

Things to look for in suspicious Email
  • Multiple misspellings
  • Strange phrases or references for things
  • An unusual request
  • Emails asking for money or invoices not paid
  • Word documents with Macros!
  • Excel documents with Macros!


San Diego Computer Consulting® helped us with our Ransomware problem. Another IT company did us no favors when we contracted and lost our company data. Glen and his group was able to restore data, eradicate the virus, and get us up and running. Thank you SDCC! ”
Mark Orlando,
MW Orlando CPA


“ We got the ransomware virus on one of our machines. It attacked our network drives. Jeremy was able to remove the virus, restore the encrypted files and get us back to operational. Without San Diego Computer Consulting® could have been devastated. ”
Sandi Cotrell,
Art Walk San Diego