We have heard a few stories of late coming from customers of Australia post who have been attacked by ransomware, this is a terrible attack, as there is very little that can be done to save information stored on a computer, although at the time of writing there do seem to be some possible solutions to some of the cases coming to the fore.
Let us first see how a ransomeware attack works and what we can learn from this attack, as many fairly decently tech say mum and dad business have been affected, this example is one that attacked Australia Post customers.It is important to note this kind of attack is not limited to Australia Post, but we used this example as it was the most relatable.
You will receive an email from Australia Post usually saying that your package has been delivered to the wrong address, or that there is a tracking problem, a fairly standard email and with no obvious spelling errors( a pretty good sign of a scam) DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK !!!! Stop what you are doing report it to either scam watch http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/ or stay smart online https://www.communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/stay-smart-online and get rid of the email, DO NOT CLICK ANYTHING !!!
The problem with this latest scam is that it will, once you click on the link encrypt everything on your computer and any devices that are connected to your computer. This means that if you backup by using an external hard drive, and it is plugged in at the time of the attack it too will be encrypted.
The attackers, will then offer you a ransom, you pay x amount in this time and we will fix your computer, paying them may or may not work unfortunately. The problem is at the moment it is very hard to reverse the damage done, it is as if your computer has been translated into a foreign language and only the attackers have the key or code to switch it back, so you cannot access anything. It is a pretty nasty attack, especially as it attacks everything including attached devices.
Our advice is DO NOT OPEN the email, but aside from that when you are backing up, you should back up in two ways, you need to have an external backup from your computer, that is in no way attached to your computer, and if you are using an external hard drive unplug it once you have backed up. SO back up frequently and in a way that is external to your computer.