Ransomware - a general warning.

Summer 2016

Ransomware - what is it ?

Ransomware is a relatively new form of malicious software that tries to prevent you accessing your data and demands a ransom to allow you access. Some versions try to lock your computer others encrypt your data in a way that is often effectively unbreakable even by experts. Paying the ransom does not necessarily get your data back and will of course help the malicious software writers.

SuperView is no more vulnerable than any other software however the designs you create with it are presumably valuable to you and your business - those designs can be attacked!

Superview uses a file format that may not be recognised as valuable but do NOT rely on this as a protection.


Like malicious software in general there is no single simple answer and the software may well change to try and work round any "solution". The following are just a few basic pointers and cant cover every eventuallity.


Both to help protect against Ransomware and to protect against other problems (hardware failure, office fires etc.) you should always have and use a backup procedure.

 You should take frequent backups that are stored separately from your day-to-day data. Also backups should be discrete (i.e. each is complete) as sometimes you will not realise some of your data is encrypted until some time later. So you need a "history" of backups. Be careful with online backup systems these do not always allow you to go back as far as you might need to!

Remember the malicious software may well attack the backup files themselves!

Users Behaviour

Many malicious software "systems" rely on users running software or infected "documents" to "install" their software. The techniques are so varied that we can not cover them here but certainly do not download or run any software or documents from an email/website unless you are very confident about that "link". Remember it is possible for an email to appear to come from a "known source" when it does not. So if you are not expecting that "link" even if you "trust" the source do not open it!

Protection Software

Obviously companies that sell anti-virus and web safety software will try to update their products to mitigate against these threats. So an up to date package would seem advisable and ensure it is kept updated.

Folder Protection.

Some protection (anti-virus) software tries to prevent files in important folders being attacked. These often include the folders SuperView uses  (eg Public Documents) but please check your individual setup of both the protection software and SuperView.

This protection method may however prevent SuperView accessing its design folders and files. If you get "access denied" error messages when trying to save a design or picture etc this maybe the cause.

Do not disable the protection instead added the SuperView program(s) to the allowed list that the protection software keeps. The exact technique varies depending on software package so please search the protection software's web site for guidance.

The Future

Ransomware software is unlikely to go away but may well change in nature and possibly become more complex (eg infect backups first then later attack the actual files).