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22-05-2017 MSI: News Release about Ransomware

Dear Customer:

Over the past few days, many cases have been reported about ransomware attacks worldwide, causing the users’ personal data, photos and important files to unfortunately get encrypted by ransomware. We are giving out the following information about ransomware and also the following recommendations, so that every user can manage their computer and stay protected:

About Ransomware
Ransomware belongs to a type of malware that is used for data kidnapping. The places and methods where ransomware can be widely spread are:
1. Internet: It can be hidden in general websites, video and audio files, webpages, documents, etc.
2. E-Mail: It can be located in e-mails with subjects that users may find very interesting, it can come from unprotected sources or it may be located in e-mails with hyperlinks that may redirect the download of infected files with ransomware.
3. System Leaks: If malware enters the system without any warning, it may encrypt the servers’ files and spread the ransomware to other places.

Once the computer is infected with ransomware, it will encrypt most of the computer’s personal and important data (by using the 2,048 bits RSA / AES encryption method) and will not allow the user to manage the computer anymore. It will show pictures, websites and text, demanding payment in Bitcoins in order to regain the computer’s access.

MSI recommends every user to follow the following instructions, in order to minimize the chance of being attacked by the ransomware.
(It is highly advised to backup all your personal files with external sources first, such as DVDs, USB Flash Drives, external hard disks, etc. Backing up the files is extremely important!)

1. Please install an antivirus software, check and install all the latest updates of the antivirus software, in order to prevent these cyber-attacks.
2. For home computers, it is not advised to leave the computer connected to the Internet at all times (in order to decrease incoming attacks from malicious sources).
3. Make backups of important files periodically (for example, to DVDs, USB Flash Drives, external hard disks, etc.), and also, disconnect the computer from the Internet and turn off the computer when not in use.
4. Check and install the latest updates and patches of your operating system. Please make sure that your operating system has automatic updates enabled, or has reminders for important updates turned on!
5. Avoid using web data sharing, in order to prevent the spread of ransomware to other hosts.
6. Do not click on websites or download files from unknown sources. If your browser suddenly tells you to download some files or tells you unexpectedly that an update is needed, please reject these downloads and updates immediately, if you are not sure whether if the coming sources are safe or not.

These are the recommendations that we give to our users to follow. We hope that it can help ours users to stay protected.
Best Regards,
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd.

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