While we’ve all seen emails, social media posts, and even news stories about a supposed scary new virus, do you really have to worry about CryptoLocker?
I wish I could say no, but if you have files important to you or your business, the answer is a definite yes.
The CryptoLocker ransomeware can still get past even some of the best anti-virus software at times. While it isn’t a hard infection to remove, the damage it leaves behind may be devastating. Cryptolocker works by encrypting most common file types that could be important to individuals or businesses. Essentially all types of Microsoft Office documents, databases, spreadsheets, and presentations, the most common formats for digital pictures, and many more. Virtually any file type that could be something of value to the user. Should you get infected with it, all these file types will be encrypted in a manner that will make them unreadable, and it will demand a “ransom” be paid within a certain time frame or said files will be lost forever. The versions we’re seeing are asking $300 via essentially untraceable payment systems at this time.
Worse still, it will not limit its damage to your local drive. If you have any USB drives, either plug in sticks or external hard drives, or mapped network drives it will encrypt whatever it can find on those as well. If infected, this leaves the user either having to pay as it demands and maybe have their files decrypted or simply lose them forever.
To help protect yourself from this threat, you have to start with a good antivirus product. If your data isn’t worth the $40-50 a year for a top performing antivirus such as Kaspersky (Not the PURE product, it will give you headaches), then I’m not sure you’d have read this far. Second, be careful. One common way for this and many other threats to spread are by Read the rest of this entry »
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