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E-Mail Viruses – Beware!

emailYesterday an NYPA member news organization was attacked by Malware. The virus that hit them locked all files on their servers and asked for a ransom to unlock them. They discovered the virus when they were unable to place banners on their InDesign pages for this week’s pages!

They were able to avoid a major catastrophe but we urge you to encourage your employees  to be more alert. There is a marked uptick in phishing emails to our email addresses. Be vigilant!


• Phishing Emails – Watch out for emails that look like they came from a person or company we know but contain links to infected files or programs.  This week the above referenced newspaper company received an email from what looked like their payroll company ADP but actually contained links to a virus.

• Email attachments – One of the oldest ways to spread malware is through email attachments. Do not open attachments from people you do not know. If a friend sends you an attachment that looks suspicious contact them first before opening the attachment. Never open emails that end in .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs

• Never download software from the web – Often when you visit a website a script on the site secretly runs and installs malware. Check with your IT person before downloading any software (or games).

Be really careful about website ads– Some ads are designed to get you to click on the ad or click on a Close button in the ad. When the user clicks on the ad or Close button, a “drive-by” download is initiated and malware is installed. Rather than click on ads or close buttons, close the window through the( x) in the upper right corner of the window.

• Popup Alerts – Web Popup alerts falsely tell the user that their machine is infected with a virus or has some other problem that needs to be fixed. The user will click on the alert and either be asked to install the software (really malware in disguise) that is purported to fix the problem or a “drive-by” download will be initiated. Do not click or engage with the popup window.

• Free Games, Applications, and Screen Savers – Many free applications and games are simply vehicles designed to install malware. Even if the application itself is functional, malware may still be installed on your computer. Don’t download games on to your computer – period.

• Media Players –No matter how enticing the video, do not install any media player software without checking with your IT person.


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