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Prevent Losing Entire Project To Malware

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So I was working on a game for several months and it got encrypted by some ransomware named Cryptoware. I have a separate computer I use for my game programming, so I thought my computer was safe, but that turned out to not be the case. Any advice on what I should do in the future to prevent such catastrophes? I am a solo game developer so I don't have much of a budget, but would like to know what the options are. 

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Do you have a good, name brand antivirus program?

 

Getting the subscription to this is worth the money. My Norton has alerted me to viruses before.

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Sorry for the loss.

 

It is strongly encouraged to always make backups; version control software is also worth checking into (we use BitBucket with Mercurial) and is the recommended suggestion for software projects.

 

This is a good reminder to everyone - if you have not made any backups yet, do it now.

 

I suggest MalwareBytes AntiMaware; its free (although there is a paid pro version) and can both remove it and can potentially aid in preventing it. Please reference this post regarding Crypto Locker and how to remove it if not already done so (note however that your documents cannot be uncovered unfortunately.) Alternatively the Norton anti-malware suite is also really good although a bit expensive.

 

This one might also be useful to try. Particularly the section about recovering files from shadow copies if system restore is enabled. However I cannot guarantee it will work.

Edited by Crypter

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You should be using a version control system on a remote server (e.g. github)
This.

 

I use Bitbucket with Mercurial. But there are plenty options (Github, SourceForge, Bitbucket, etc). Find one that works nicely integrated into your IDE of choice and off you go.

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For the future, as several people have stated, source code control is a must. And it'll help prevent all kinds of other issues, like accidentally breaking your game and forgetting which change introduced the bug.

 

The easiest way to get started, if you are on Windows, is to download SourceTree and set up a remote repository on GitHub or BitBucket. All of which are free. 

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sad. If it's a recent Cryptoware version, your resources are indeed forfeit.

 

Take a good firewall and learn how to use it  (comodo is free and has no glaring flaws I could bypass with 10 lines of code, contrary to Norton and too many)

Keep your OS up to date

Remove JAVA from your browser (and ideally flash)

Don't download crap over the internet and stop visiting weird websites

 

Anti virus are mostly useless against new / recent threats, even old ones when they went through some kind of encryption i wont bother to explain in details, let's just say it gets encrypted using genetic methods until it can't be detected by AV anymore (all of that perfectly automated in the delivery server).

 

Also, backups and remote repository as said by the others.

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Any advice on what I should do in the future to prevent such catastrophes?

 

Any idea how you got the virus in the first place? Would be good to know so I can avoid doing the same thing (assuming it wasn't some silly way that you should have know better of course smile.png)

 

Yes re backups. I would have thought HDD failure was a more likely occurrance than a serious virus assult on a modern OS and all the protection software in the world won't help you if your disk goes bye bye.

Edited by Aardvajk

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Run an up-to-date OS (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.0 do not count). Make sure Window's Defender is active and updated. Make sure your firewall is active. Use Chrome or FireFox with AdBlock installed, and make sure plugins like Java and Flash are running on a whitelist model (i.e. approve manually for each site, rather than blacklisting specific sites).

 

I have never, ever had a virus or malware problem on a personal computer (though to be fair, I spend more of my time on Mac or Linux than I do on Windows). It's mostly a matter of not taking silly risks, and BACKING UP *all* your data.

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