Nasty Ransomware that Spreads like a Virus

ZCryptor exhibits worm-like behavior and can spread to removable and network drives to expand its attack surface


Microsoft has released an alert today warning about a new ransomware variant called ZCryptor, which comes with the ability to self-propagate via removable and network drives.

A security researcher named Jack, behind the MalwareForMe blog, first discovered and wrote about this threat on May 24. Three days later, Microsoft ‘s security team also took note of the new wave of infections.

“We are alerting Windows users of a new type of ransomware that exhibits worm-like behavior,” Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center alert reads. “This ransom leverages removable and network drives to propagate itself and affect more users.”

ZCryptor spread via macro malware and fake Flash updaters

The company says that crooks use fake installers, usually for Adobe Flash, along with macro-based booby-trapped Office files to distribute the Zcryptor ransomware.

Once the user installs the fake Adobe Flash update or allows an Office file to run macros, the Zcryptor ransomware is installed on the user’s computer.

The first thing the ransomware does is to gain PC restart persistence by adding a key to the computer’s registry. After this, it starts to encrypt files.

Based on samples it analyzed, Microsoft reported the ransomware was targeting 88 different file types. The security researcher MalwareHunterTeam told Softpedia that, in samples he analyzed, he saw the ransomware targeted 121 different file types, so it appears that ZCryptor’s authors are still working and adding new code.

ZCryptor can apparently copy itself to removable and network drives

The most peculiar thing, the one that caught our attention, was Microsoft saying the ransomware has “worm-like behavior,” meaning it can spread by itself to nearby targets.

Such behavior is novel for ransomware families, and it appears that this is one of the first ransomware variants to feature such a function. MalwareHunterTeam also said “that it [ZCryptor] has the codes to copy itself to removable devices.”

An analysis by Trend Micro, also released May 26, 2016, reinforced Microsoft’s findings, categorizing the threat as a “worm,” with self-propagation features.

Check out the Alpha Ransomware, as published by Softpedia  on May 1, 2016. was capable of searching and then encrypting files found on shared folders, but not to self-replicate on other drives.

Just like in the world of legitimate software development, crooks constantly upgrade their code and add new features, and we may see the first versions of ransomware capable of going after users on its own.

Below is the standard lock screen seen by victims that were infected with the ZCryptor ransomware. Because the ransomware adds the .zcrypt file extension to locked files, some researchers also call it zCrypt.

ZCryptor ransom screen

ZCryptor ransom screen

 This is a warning…..  Keep your data backed up..


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Getting Started Internet Marketing

Getting Started the need for setting Goals and Objectives

Target Tropism

Getting started with a presence on the internet is a tall order.   There are over 935 million websites online and constantly changing.   New ones are added every day as well as others are just dying off.  When you consider the changes most webpages die every couple months. The average lifespan is 100 days.  To give you an idea of staying power the average lifespan today is two and one half times longer than the late 1990s when the average was 44 days.  More info click here.

So how does one make it a success, well since it is easier said than done, it might start with defining what it is you are trying to do or set your course in a specific direction.  The goal is not just to make money, but to also offer something that is unique and/or interesting or needed by someone else. This means that you need to set your goals and objectives so that you know where you are going.

I remember a term that I used over 30 years ago.  Target Tropism, in English, the word tropism is used to indicate an action done without cognitive thought: However, “tropism” in this sense has a proper, although non-scientific, meaning as an innate tendency, natural inclination, or propensity to act in a certain manner.  Target Tropism together says that by knowing where we are going we are by definition pointing ourselves in the direction we want to go and will have a greater inclination of achieving the end.

My first step was to learn as much as I could about what I was getting into.  Therefore, I read whatever I could to begin building a foundation. My first on-line books were ordered from to listen to while traveling.   These books were very helpful, they helped me pass the time and build a foundation of information.

Understanding the world around you is good, but once you have developed an understanding it is equally important to understand the language base.

“I believe that you get nothing for free”, so you need to be invested in the process in order to succeed.   I know that you would like to do Internet Marketing where it doesn’t cost you anything, or at least very little.  My initial investment cost me about a total of $40.00.   You can review these items if you wish.  I have provided links for each of the references. Just click on them an follow the link.

1. Making Money with Affiliate Marketing: How to Become an Effective Internet Marketer by Ross Hinton
2. Internet Marketing for Network Marketers: How to Create Automated Systems to Get Recruits and Customers Online by Argena Olivis
3. Pamela Swingley: The Art of Internet Marketing by Pamela Swingley
4. How To Make Money Online Fast: Step By Step Instructions On How To Work From Home Using Proven Internet Marketing Strategies by Argena Olivis
5. The World of Internet Marketing: The Basics: Online Brand Building, Social Media, and Website Design, Volume 1 by Jonathan Edward Goodman
6. 30 Quickest Ways to Market Your Business for Free: Internet Marketing Strategy, Internet Marketing Strategies, Network Marketing Internet Business, Internet by Howard Schultz
7. Expert Internet Marketing: Alter Your Life and Raise Your Business to the Greatest Level by Nicole Maddocks
8. Create One-Page Web Sites for a Steady Income Stream by Jeanette Cates
9. The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding by Al Ries, Laura Ries

Once you gain an understanding you then need to set some goals.  “Why?”, you may ask.  Goal setting is the first step toward achievement. It marks your first point toward success. It is what will  put your life into real action mode. Without this step, the other steps cannot take place.

Below are 6 reasons why setting goals is so important, taken from the Personal Excellence website by Celes Chua.

  1. Gives Clarity On Your End Vision

As the opening quote by Bill Copeland put it across very adeptly, if you don’t have a goal in life, you are spending your life running around and not achieving anything for yourself. You get the illusion that you are doing a lot of things, but they aren’t what you want. You are just busy fulfilling everyone’s goals. It can be the fast food industry enjoying your patronage because you’re lovin’ it, multi-billion dollar consumer goods companies securing your purchase because they convinced you that their haircare products with 76% frizz reduction is something you need, fashion houses getting you to buy their clothes because it makes you look cool, or you working in a job you don’t love because it is safe, secure and rakes in the dough.

How are you supposed to manifest what you want if you don’t even set concrete goals? How do you supposed to achieve your dreams and visions if you don’t clearly spell out the end output you desire?

Setting your goals gives you clarity on what you ultimately want. It makes you crystallize and articulate the desires floating in your mind. It ensures that you are channeling your time, energy and efforts into things that really matter to you. It makes you live more consciously.

Everything in this world is created twice: First – creation in your mind, followed by the manifestation in reality. Without the mental creation, there will be no physical creation. When you set a goal, you already accomplish the first creation. You have set into motion a decree for yourself and the forces of your universe to materialize the goal in the physical reality.

  1. Drives You Forward

Your goals are a representation of your inner desires; desires which motivate you in life. The point when you set goals marks one the points when you are most connected with your source of motivation. It is when your motivation is at its peak. Having goals at your side serve as constant reminders of your motivational sources. They are the fuel which drive you forward and keep you going when the going gets tough.

If I ever experience moments where I lose motivation, I get into meditation mode and focus on some of my most important goals in life, including the goal to turn my personal development business into a full-time career. I will visualize the scenario with full mental clarity, as if it is happening in the now. When I do that, it’s like a clear connection is formed with my inner desires. The motivational energy suddenly surges through very readily and I channel this energy into my daily life and actions.

  1. Gives You Laser Focus

Goals give you a single focal point to place your attention in. Whereas your purpose gives you a broad, directional focus to move your life in, goals gives you laser focus on what exactly to spend your time and energy on. Think of your time, energy and efforts as input, and results as the output. A goal acts as your funnel which guides and channels those inputs effectively into your desired output.

When you don’t have goals, you are floating around every day. Your energy is randomly dispersed in ad-hoc activities which you engage on whimsical basis. These are activities that play no role in your larger scope of life, but you are not aware of because you are just living life as it is. You end up mislabeling a lot of ‘nice-to-do’ activities as important. You might also be engaging in these ‘nice-to-do’ activities because you can’t think of a better way to spend your time. Do you find yourself surfing and chatting excessively? Busy running errands? Play a lot of games? Spend the bulk of your time being a workaholic? Spend the remaining time lazing and/or partying away? What’s your objective for doing them? What end output does it lead to? Is that the top priority in your life?

You may have a broad idea of what you want to do. But until you clearly articulate it out as specific goals, you are not channeling your efforts properly. You will often find yourself getting sidetracked because you don’t have goals to rein you in. It’s really quite easy to get swept away by the currents of everyday life, simply because there are so many stimulus out there in our environment. You may get the general overall impression that you are moving in the direction, but it is just an illusion that you are having. With no goals, you have no focus. Without this focus, your input is strewn around randomly to give you garbage output. That is, if you even get any semblance of an output at all.

  1. Makes You Accountable

Having goals makes you accountable. Rather than just talking about what you want all the time and not do anything concrete about them, you are now obligated to take action. Setting a specific goal gives you clarity on whether you are living up against what you committed yourself to do when you first set your goal.

This accountability is accountability to yourself, not anyone else. This accountability is what you hold up to when you choose the healthy salad over that piece of fried chicken. It is what you answer to when you spent that hour working on your report rather than random web surfing. When you stay accountable toward your goals, you are in fact staying true to your desires (see point 1 above).

For my blog, one of the goals I set is the number of articles which I want to write every week. When I set such targets in place, I become accountable toward delivering against it. If I find myself falling short, I will take the necessary actions to turn the situation around. I examine how I have been spending my time and start prioritizing across my daily tasks. I cut out the Quadrant 4 tasks (time wasters) or activities that bear little to no relation to my goals. From this, I have reduced considerable time on my biggest time wasters, including chatting, random web surfing, constantly checking my mail/web stats, certain outings which are not as important compared to my writing goal.

  1. Be The Best You Can Be

Goals help you achieve your highest potential. Without goals, you subject yourself to the natural, default set of actions that keep you feel safe and comfortable every day. But this familiarity is the nemesis of growth. It prevents you from growing. It does not enable you to become the best person you can be. It denies you from tapping into all that potential inside of you.

By setting goals, you set targets to strive against. These targets make you venture into new places, new contexts, new situations which puts you into growth mode. They make you stretch beyond your normal self and reach new heights. For example, setting a time limit for your run lets you know if you should be running faster. Setting a weight loss target makes you aware if your actions have been effective in losing weight. Setting a career goal ensures you are not settling for anything less than what you desire.

In my goal achievement processes, I have found myself constantly bursting through new grounds and uncovering potential which I did not know existed before. Without those goals, I would be taking the path of least resistance, just doing things within their natural constraints. Goals have made me face and overcome countless barriers to get to what’s on the other side. It has made me much more self aware and learn a lot more things about both myself and life, compared to if I did not have those goals.

  1. Live Your Best Life

Goals ensure you get the best out of life, for two reasons.

Firstly, by becoming a better person, your new found knowledge and abilities let you experience more out of the same life events compared to the previous you. Think about how your worldview is different now vs the you 10 years ago. Do you see life with much more clarity, depth and perspective today than you were in the past? What may be a simple daily occurrence in the past holds a lot more meaning to the more highly evolved you today.

Secondly, time passes in our life, whether we want to or not. Goals with specific measures and deadlines ensure we are maximizing our output and experiences during our time here. If you have already discovered your life purpose, your goals will ensure you get the best out of your purpose.

Imagine you are driving a car. When you identify your purpose, you get clarity on the direction to travel in. However, without specifying an exact destination and time frame, there is no yardstick to benchmark your progress against. It wouldn’t make a difference whether you are whizzing at an amazing 140km/hour or a paltry 10km/hour since you never set a target. Goals ensure you are maximizing your life for all that it can offer you.

Start Setting Goals

Ask yourself this – What do you want for a website…..

If you are to take some time out to set your goals now, I can guarantee you that you will definitely experience more growth as a person. By just spending a few minutes to articulate some aspirations that have been in your mind, you will experience more progress in your life a year from now than compared to if you don’t.


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Exploring the Internet Possibilities

Exploring the internet and its possibilities is very intriguing indeed.  A concept beyond research and entertainment is making money using the internet.   Usually that means that you need a website (your own or not your own),  but you still need something to sell. As I have discovered recently, [read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”] Your hidden text here over the past six plus months, there are many ways to make money off the internet.

Is it easy money? Anything worthwhile is never been easy. Only through trial and error can you discover the things you need. You need to understand what you are doing, you need to invest in the process and you need to keep moving forward.

I had the opportunity to jump in and try different advertised make money quick and chose to review them before jumping in. However, I have a friend that jumped into several schemes and I discovered how some of these opportunities work.

So can you make money on the internet? My research indicates that you can. But to do it you need to understand the language and understand what to be aware of or avoid.  As such I hope to document my process, if you would like to join me, sign up and I will take you along for the ride.[/read]




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• The dermis, often referred to as the “living skin”, makes up 90% of the bulk of the skin and 75% of the dermis is collagen.

• From the age of 25 years, the skin starts to age.
• As the skin ages the dermis becomes thinner and we lose collagen at a rate of approximately 1.5% per year. 

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A am posting this topic as a result of a conversation while golfing with a good friend.   My friend basically asked me whether or not I heard of the virus “Cryptolocker”.  I explained to him that I was familiar with it  and how I became introduced to the virus.  We discussed it intermittently during the remainder of our golf round. Afterwards we had a huge discussion about malware, trojans and virus manufacturers in general.

During the discussion he asked me what could be done and I made the comment that he might be able to change the individuals profile and/or look at shadow copy recovery. I further commented on what I had done to combat the virus.  He also explained to me that he was looking at possibly having to replace upwards of 50 computers. That he didn’t have appropriate backups. And that he feels he has no choice but to pay the extortioners.

Afterwards, his whole situation sank in, if he has to replace 50 computers, if he pays for the decryption key and if he truly doesn’t have a backup what are his alternatives?  So I did some quick research and found some possibilities that might work.

The Possibility of Data Recovery is open for discussion.  A website according to PCWorld – CryptoLocker was a solution for recovering encrypted files. Researchers from FireEye and Fox-IT developed a proven method to recovering the private encryption keys used by CryptoLocker.  In addition, they have reverse-engineered the code of the malware itself—in essence the firms can unlock your files.  However, the company has decommissioned this website in August of 2014.  The service is free and all you have to do is send them an email containing an attachment that is Cryptolocked.  They will determine what the key is and send the key to the individual via email. Click on the following link to gain a better understanding of this process.

Ultimately the question is, is there another solution today – 2015?

Here are several tools available to identify and prevent cryptolocker from affecting your computer.

Malwarebytes – Detects and Stops virus

Also removal instructions can be found here. Malwarebytes removal instructions

Hitman Pro – Another tool for prevention

Why not pay? Usually the response is why not pay if I don’t have a backup or it might be too costly to recover my data.  There are three good reasons not to pay.

  1.  You are not guaranteed the key you receive will work and/or whether you will receive a key.
  2.  Paying supports the malware develpers allows them to continue extorting money from companies.
  3. Removing cryptolocker will not endanger your files

Good standardized security practices that every company should follow to protect themselves from such virus’,  maleware and intrusions.

  1. Educate Users – Remember your company’s data security is only as good as your employees.  You can institute any and all prevention measures but a well educated staff can assistant you against stupid.
    1. Never open emails that contain .zip content.
    2. How often will they receive .zip content from a users inside your company? The answer to this question is probably never.  Therefore, the only source of .zip content would come from outside your organization.
    3. If you don’t know who the email is from or you were not expecting the email do not open it, just delete it.
    4. If in doubt ask, always assume that if it is important the sender will resend the email or ask for a read/open receipt and then re-contact you.
    5. Always error on the side of caution.
  2. Use windows Shadow Copy  also known as Volume Snapshot Service or Volume Shadow Copy Service or VSS is a technology included in Microsoft Windows that allows taking manual or automatic backup copies or snapshots of computer files or volumes, even when they are in use. It is implemented as a Windows services called the Volume Shadow Copy service. A software VSS provider service is also included as part of Windows to be used by Windows applications. Shadow Copy technology requires the file system to be NTFS to be able to create and store shadow copies. Shadow Copies can be created on local and external (removable or network) volumes by any Windows component that uses this technology, such as when creating a scheduled Windows Backup or automatic System Restore point. Please note that Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, & Windows 8.
  3. Change your firewall to trap for .zip, .exe file types and prevent them from breaching your firewall. Contact your systems administrator to help set these rules up.

Check out the following resources for additional information.


ShadowExplorer software,  if you are using Windows 7 (Shadow Copy is turned on automatically or Windows Server 2008 (you might need to turn on the Shadow Copy for each drive you share).

Very Important and Comprehensive An excellent resource appears to be  They have a very good discussion on Cryptolocker, it’s delivery and how to get rid of it……




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Interesting Websites

There is a world of websites available that offer interesting perspectives and insights on life. Here are a few that I found fun to look at and possibly interact with.

Check out the Science of Us website.  It provides an latest insights into human behavior and it is delivered daily in a newsletter.


TED is another website, and I agree with “Ideas Worth Spreading”.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. TED believes in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. is building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.

Check it out.    TED

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Zoom Effect

this is a zoom effect.



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Market this is a marketing paging – the new approach

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Let’s Talk Collaboration

this is a post

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Purpose Driven

This post is dedicated to my mother, who wanted to converse about the book written by Rick Warren, titled “The Purpose Drive Life”.  This book investigates the reason “what on earth am I here for!”.   This book investigates the point “You are not an Accident!”  Even before the universe was created, Gd had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes.  These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth.  You were made to last forever.

Rick Warren suggests that the book will help ou understand why your are alive and God’s amazing plan for you — both here and now, and for eternity. The author suggests that to read the book one should a chapter a day.  For my mother,  we decided to read each chapter and tell each other what we thought.  This blog posts the results from each chapter.

If you are interested in participating in each chapter an ebook is available on-line for purchase.


The Purpose Drive Life

The Purpose Drive Life


To respond by chapter click on the the following link:   What If….. Chapter


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