Tuesday, September 1, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Lost: Small black/white tortoise shell cat, 1-1/2 years old, Aug. 8, Country Hills area, La Vernia, friendly, "Cinnamon" but responds to "Kitty," rhinestone collar w/bell, shots, spayed. Reward! 210-725-8082.

VideoLost: Shih Tzu, male, golden brown, from C.R. 320 in Floresville. If you have any information call 210-452-1829 or 832-292-3305.

VideoStill missing: Long hair Chihuahua, near 3rd and Hwy. 97, Floresville, she is very missed. If you see her please call Jeri, 409-781-3191.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

The Floresville Independent School District is accepting applications for District Wide Custodian Positions, 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. shift. Applications may be obtained online at www.fisd.us or contact Sylvia Campa at 830-393-5300 ext. 14002 for appointments. FISD Personnel Office is located at 1200 5th St., Floresville, Texas. 830-393-5300 (Office hours: 8:00-4:00). Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. An Equal Opportunity Employer.
The 81st Judicial District Attorney’s office, which includes Frio, La Salle, Atascosa, Karnes and Wilson Counties, is accepting resumes for an Assistant District Attorney position. The selected candidate will work directly under the Border Prosecution Unit Initiative dedicated to Human Trafficking/Human Smuggling. Responsibilities of the position include working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, felony intake, preparation of cases for grand jury, negotiating pleas and representation of the State of Texas in pretrial proceedings, as well as in criminal bench trials and jury trials in District Court. All applicants must be a graduate of an accredited law school and licensed to practice law by the State of Texas and have a minimum of fifteen (15) years prosecutorial experience and extensive felony trial experience. Salary commensurate with experience. Resumes will be accepted through close of business, September 3, 2015. EMAIL resumes and cover letters to terireyes@81stda.org or fax to 830-393-2205. DISTRICT ATTORNEY RENE PENA C/O, TERI REYES, Office Manager; 1327 THIRD STREET, FLORESVILLE, TEXAS 78114. Fax 830-393-2205, terireyes@81stda.org.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
TNMCRE/MAX homeRichardson Chevrolet home
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


Pay the ransom or lose your files


Pay the ransom or lose your files
Ransom demands such as this may indicate a malware or ransomware infection.


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
July 30, 2014
3,252 views
1 comment

By Brian Gaspard and Robert C. McDonald

Brian Gaspard is the owner of Image Networks in San Antonio, which provides IT and computing solutions for companies throughout San Antonio and Wilson County. Gaspard recently aided a local business in recovering from a ransomware attack and shares his insight here.

Computer attacks are nothing new, but a new class of malware known as “ransomware” may have people questioning just how secure their business and personal computer systems really are. This particular malware is spreading rapidly, and at least one local business has discovered how destructive it can be.

Jack Rice, president of the Texaloy Foundry Co. in Floresville, confirmed that such an attack recently occurred with his company’s computer network. Rice said that two computers were infected, and while he paid the first ransom of $500, he refused further such demands. In Texaloy’s case, paying the first ransom retrieved about 70 percent of the company’s files, while the remaining 30 percent were left encrypted.

Ransomware is a class of malware that holds certain aspects of a computer “hostage,” and demands a payment. It works through email attachments. The old style of ransomware many people may have seen displayed bogus alerts from the FBI, CIA, or other government agency. They stated that the computer was used for illegal activities, and thus had been locked. The alerts demand a payment as a “fine” to unlock the computer and return control to the user. While these infections have been around a long time, they are rarely destructive, and can generally be removed by any good antivirus software.

A few years back, the developers of these applications figured out how to use the same type of infections to encrypt files on the computer. While the antivirus software could remove the infection, it could not decrypt the files. Users were often stuck paying the ransom to decrypt the files.

About a year ago, a new class of ransomware, known as “cryptolocker” or “cryptowall,” started to make the rounds. These programs work in much the same way, encrypting a computer’s files and then displaying a message that demands a payment. The biggest difference with these newer types is that they have a prebuilt application. This means anybody with an Internet connection can become a ransomware vendor. That means infection rates are much higher. Another big difference is that these newer applications not only encrypt files on the victim’s computer, but also on any computer attached to the same network.

Unfortunately, antivirus software has become easy for virus writers to work around. Symantec, a leading antivirus vendor, even declared antivirus software “dead.” This means that relying on antivirus software alone will not work in most cases.

Ransomware infections work through email attachments. These emails usually appear to come from a user within the company, and the attachment looks like a simple PDF. After the program has done its damage and has encrypted all the files on the network, the user is presented with the demand page. They often go on to display a clock, and indicate that after a period of time -- the rate will double. Eventually, if nothing is done, the criminals will delete the encryption keys from their servers, and fire recovery becomes impossible.

In addition, because each infection is unique, it’s possible for multiple network users to be infected. This means that the files on the network can be encrypted twice or more. So while the company or user may decide to pay for one decryption, getting everything back may require additional ransoms.

Prevention is usually pretty easy, though, if users pay attention to what they are doing, and do not open attachments unless they are expecting them.

The vast majority of infections are geared toward Windows-based computers, so running a computer without Windows is usually a good way to prevent attacks. The Macintosh operating system is one way, but can be costly to those not already running Macs. In addition, most business software today runs only on Windows. This makes converting to Mac unfeasible for many businesses.

There are many other ways to combat such attacks, though, ranging from simple to complex. Texaloy now utilizes a complex system, including both Windows- and Linux-based computers meant to isolate email and web traffic from the rest of the company’s network. While this may not be a solution for everyone, there are some simple preventive measures anyone can take.

To help combat these attacks, and the ensuing loss of data, companies and individuals should be diligent about backing up their files. It’s a good idea to make backups on multiple devices that are both physically and logically disconnected from the network, at least periodically. External hard drives that are swapped out regularly are also good. Cloud backups can work, but since a cloud backup usually stays connected to the network, it’s possible for the backup software to actually overwrite good files with encrypted ones. It’s also advisable to have multiple people check the backups periodically to ensure they are working.

Malware is not going away anytime soon, and everyone should be mindful of the damage it can do. Educating users about the dangers of opening attachments, while remaining diligent about backing up files, are two simple first steps in the right direction.

Look for more on this in a coming issue of the Wilson County News.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
August 2, 2014 4:30pm
 
I hope all employees read this. It's so easy to just open what appears to be sent by someone that you know ... and you could end up infecting your entire office system. Everyone, please PAY ATTENTION! IT'S A SCARY WORLD ...

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cities grapple with eight-liner issues (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Connally Memorial to open two clinics in near future (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Council proposes no tax-rate increase (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Don't argue about it (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DPS: Obey traffic laws, use extra caution as new school year begins (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Mexico fears Trump candidacy (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Peeking behind Walmart’s promise to invest in American jobs (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Thoughts on Iran (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Extension agents resign (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Falls City ISD: tax rate to jump (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Five vie for three Floresville seats (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville ISD says average taxpayer will save $61 (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville offers concessions to landowners (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville operations director will focus on public works (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting ab smart (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia trustees OK lower tax rate (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: It’s time to store the flag (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: We’re not all complicit (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lower tax rate, higher utility bills await Poth residents (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Floresville Parks Foundation (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 2 (Eagle Creek area) (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pregnancy center comes to La Vernia (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rainy weather contributes to myriad vehicle crashes (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Residents revive organization to beautify Wilson County (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners clear first hurdle to receive Floresville funds (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SAPD officer dies in La Vernia (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Selling land the old-fashioned way (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tips to make camping with your pet an exciting experience (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Veterans Career Fair is Sept. 3 (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome back! (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. What do Floresville residents want in city parks? (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Pick It’ football contest (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Accident takes life of local teen (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Alamo Call-A-Ride 4 Vets program (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chamber meeting set for Aug. 31 (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Community remembrance vigil for Chief Pimentel (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Crash injures Floresville woman (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deadline Aug. 24 to get on November ballot (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Digital Marketing Boot Camp in SA (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Christians’ denial keeps Planned Parenthood in business (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Debate questions more like ‘gotcha’ rather then serious issues (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: It’s time to free students from higher-education debt (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: ‘Climate anger’: Last refuge of the green activists (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Elmendorf may cut tax rate (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Estate planning for landowners (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Formal ballet school takes shape in Wilson County (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Help police to ID suspect (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia council approves Porter as new city secretary (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Disgruntled over FNES car-line changes (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Poth ISD board of trustees (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Stockdale EDC (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Memorial Hospital District (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meningitis vaccine required for college students (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nehring turns herself in to authorities for livestock theft (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. No property tax-rate increase for Stockdale ISD residents, landowners (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Notes from the superintendent (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Officials work to ID burned body (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oil and gas lease online sale nets $20M for public schools (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital holds topping off celebration (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Roofing permit fee splits Floresville City Council members (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Hedwig lowers tax rate (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale approves water resolution (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tax increase possible for Stockdale-area emergency services (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The best of three (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Workshop paves the way for better Floresville streets (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Meet the Teacher Night’ Aug. 20 (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. An analysis: Comment deadline nears for proposed water plans (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Burn ban back on for Wilson County (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Changes coming to Floresville streets (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Check out new LVISD app (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Christian Coalition hosts Bishop Williams (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DA confirms Ortiz investigation (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate blood Aug. 18 (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Could ‘The Donald’ be the Democrats Trump card? (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Vote as I say, not as I do (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: We are at war! (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Feds offer $5M reward for ‘El Chapo’ arrest (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville may sweeten agreement for annexation plan (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville moves to streamline building permit process (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville North new car-line procedures (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville tackles employee sick leave (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Grants for nonprofits (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kayak rescue (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Keeping Fido safe in the summer heat (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Healthcare foundation president thankful (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: The good, bad effects of oil boom/bust (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: China Grove City Council (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Floresville Economic Development Corp. (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Stockdale City Council (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Need a side income (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oil slowdown spurs caution in budgeting for Poth EDC (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police investigate suspicious activity (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police seek four theft suspects (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers arrest Nixon city manager (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers search for suspected thief (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sign up for vets job fair (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale council tables water opposition resolution (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Texas A&M honors John Burleson Sr. (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Thoughts on affordable housing, weatherization, traffic, more (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. What are ‘dog days’? (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annexation baffles property owners (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. City manager discusses ‘Floresville effect,’ job, future (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Costlier health insurance hits Wilson County budget (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cycle Ranch not ‘permanently closed’ (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deadline to register for lay ministry program nears (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dollar General to open north of Floresville (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Documented irresponsibility (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Doug Hughes: Protecting democracy from plutocrats (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The media go gaga over certain political personalities (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Evergreen talks Cibolo Valley opposition (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FEDC approves $10,000 for YMCA feasibility study (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS boss resigns (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS takes advantage of ‘Obamacare’ (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Fires scorch 80 acres (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free wood chips (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get your Feather Fest tickets (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ice Cream Social is Aug. 14 (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia housing plan gets OK (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: I’m for Scott Walker (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Public invited to ‘Topping Out’ celebration (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Questions loom over Floresville’s annexation (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Region L mulls recycled wastewater proposal (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. RV park owner sues Floresville, city council, county appraisal district (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Texas VFW allays concerns (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Three new athletic directors usher in changes (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Trustees promote Pruitt (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Your wake-up call (August 5, 2015)