Ransom-ware “stolen.data” virus
We found traces of the stolen.data virus on a computer in the reception of a new forest clinic. This virus and variations of it first appeared in 2013.
The software which is installed by the virus can encrypt all your data on the computer making it unreadable without the encryption key. It can also infect external hard drives that are used to make backups. In order to obtain the encryption key a ransom must be paid to the makers of the software which has been reported to be anything from £200-£1000 .
Luckily the virus we found had not managed to work properly and we removed it before any data could be encrypted. The main problem with this virus when it does work is that removing it will mean you can never get your data back because you will no longer see the instructions asking to pay the ransom and get the encryption key.
If you have seen messages warning that your data has been stolen or encrypted then it is important to shut down the computer, or pull the power if it will not shut down gracefully. The longer it runs, the more of your data could be lost.