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Can ransomware destroy a hard drive?


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#1 jmtjet

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 11:20 PM

In March of this year I helped a friend with a ransomware infection. He wasn't about to pay the ransom so we reinstalled Windows 8 on his Dell computer(he had good backups).  All seemed well for a few months, then suddenly he was unable to access his files,add remove programs feature and other windows programs. I'm wondering if the ransomware was still able to encrypt his files after a set length of time? Thanks.



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#2 quietman7

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 10:07 AM

Depends on what was backed up and restored after performing the reinstall. If the malicious file responsible for the ransomware was backeup up...it could start the whole process again.

The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), (*.pdf), dynamic link library (*.dll), autorun (*.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or by adding double file extensions and/or space(s) in the file's name to hide the real extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions.
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#3 jmtjet

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 03:45 PM

Thanks, that's good advice. I'm in the process of reinstalling Windows 8 again. This time I'll be more careful about what backups get installed.



#4 quietman7

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 04:09 PM

You're welcome.
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