Versioned Backup and Off-Site Storage vs. “Encrypted” Viruses

Thu, Jan 29, 2015   04:12 PM

Versioned Backup and Off-Site Storage vs. “Encrypted” VirusesThe bum of viruses occluding your personal data under the secret password is the fact of modern days. These viruses can be not only annoying but also can bring some destructible power to your comfort, finances or business.

Yeah, when you turn your computer on and suddenly get a message like “All your important files are encrypted! Send the $$$$ to some account, and only then you can remove the encryption!”, it is completely outrageous.

Fortunately, Handy Backup provides the user case for these occurrences. Just store backup copies of your personal files off-site (e.g. on FTP server or on the cloud account), and make a regular versioned backup. Having versioned copies of your data, you may restore these data at every moment – intact!

The Story of the Case

One day, some user of Handy Backup calls for a tech support to solve the problem with “encrypted” viruses. The task was very interesting, and the tech crew of Handy Backup was make an investigation, thoroughly “anatomizing” these viruses and havoc viruses brings.

The “encrypted” virus strikes a computer, replicating in some service utilities or Windows processes. It then encrypts some user data like documents, tables, E-mails and other. After the process of invasion completes, the virus sends a signal to some server, informing a host about the success.

The host of virus then sends a letter or any other anonymous call to the infected computer’s owner, warning this owner about the invasion and making a proposal to send some money to the temporary account or electronic purse to get a decryption password for user files. That is so simple!

Theory of Therapy

Viruses described above are able to strike only local data. These viruses, due to the architecture of file storages and transferring protocols, are completely unable (for now) to encrypt files located on commercial clouds or FTP servers.

Therefore, the backup copy of user files stored off-site will be completely intact even after the hardest invasion. All the user must to do is to remove the virus and then to restore his or her data from the last intact copy. Handy Backup allows automating these operations: saving user data off-site and restoring it.

Versioned backup, a feature allowing making backup copies stamped with the time of creation and the version number, is another great feature of Handy Backup simplifying returning of the information “lost” due to the virus attack. With versioned backup, user can select the exact time where data were remain intact.

Application of the Technique

Before you will plan to use versioned off-site backup (such as FTP Backup) for keeping your data away from “encrypted” viruses (and other disasters), you need to obtain or renew any online (e.g., off-site) data storage, such as an access to some FTP server or to commercial cloud account.

To use Handy Backup for protecting your data from “encrypted” viruses, follow these steps.

  1. Download and install Handy Backup.
  2. Start the program and create a new backup task using the menu item or by pressing Ctrl+N.
  3. On the Step 3, select some off-site (online) storage, such as Amazon S3, Yandex.Disk or FTP, to store your backup data. To learn how to do it you can read about Amazon S3 backup, for example.

Note: Please be sure your online storage configuration is valid, and the network connection is stable!

  1. On the Step 4, select an option for keeping versioned backups. Set up the rotation time for your versions you feel reasonable.
  2. Schedule this task with a frequency you feel appropriate (we are recommending daily backups).
  3. Complete the creation of a new task as usual with Handy Backup (see details in User Manual).

With the described task scheduled to work automatically, you can have some copies (often from 3 to 5) of your personal files untouchable for “encrypted” viruses, far from your computer. So if the virus will begin to blackmail you, remove it using standard anti-virus procedures, and then just restore your data!

This method can be extended to keeping data from any type of computer viruses other the “encrypted”. At all, the purpose of any backup is not to make a ton of information garbage unused for anything, but to protect data from any peril existed (including viruses, as the most well-known hazard!).

Best regards!

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