Petya isn’t about your dog

Petya is a Ransomware variant that as of the writing of this post, is currently hitting the European continent. Russian energy giant Rosneft, US Pharmaceutical giant Merck and the largest shipping container company in the world Maersk is currently being hit. 2016 is the first time we’ve seen this variant, but today a new variant was released via Dropbox.

Why does the inclusion of Dropbox make this work? Many people automatically trust Dropbox and have auto sync enabled between their Dropbox account and a folder somewhere on their computer or network. The other scary piece of this particular virus is the fact that it encrypts the MBR (Master Boot Record) area of your computer. Just like it sounds, this controls if your computer will even boot up or not.

Other versions of Cryptovirus’ (or Ransomware) target your files. As long as you have data backed up, you can recover although it’s a hassle. If the Petya variant gets ya, you have to wipe your entire hard drive and start from zero. Install your operating system. Install every program you had. Then put all of your data back. So instead of a few hours, you probably have a full day or 2 in order to get back to where you were. If you’re a home user, do you have your install files for your programs? Do you have the license keys? If you’re a business, do you image your machines?

So the bottom line: Make sure you back up your data. What many people and organizations forget is to make sure you have the install and license files for the programs you use. If you don’t have those, you can’t even use your data.

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