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CryptoLocker Ransomware on the rise

CryptoLocker, is a malicious program known as ransomware.

Example of a Ransomeware email

Example of a Ransomware email

Some ransomware just freezes your computer and asks you to pay a fee. (These threats can usually be unlocked without paying up, using a decent anti-virus program as a recovery tool.)

CryptoLocker is different: your computer and software keep on working, but your personal files, such as documents, spreadsheets and images, are encrypted.

The criminals retain the only copy of the decryption key on their server – it is not saved on your computer, so you cannot unlock your files without their assistance.

They then give you a short time (e.g. 72 hours, or three days) to pay them for the key.

The decryption key is unique to your computer, so you can’t just take someone else’s key to unscramble your files.

WHAT DOES CRYPTOLOCKER LOOK LIKE?

CryptoLocker reveals itself only after it has scrambled your files, which it does only if it is online and has already identified you and your computer to the encryption server run by the criminals. Typically this will happen after you download a file from an email.

Example of a Ransomware email

Example of a Ransomware email

WHAT ARE SOME WARNING SIGNS I CAN LOOK FOR?

  • Be sure of the sender who is sending you emails and email attachments; if you do not recognize the sender, DO NOT OPEN. This also applies to when you are asked for personal information – be sure of who is making the request.
  • Look at some of the wording in the email. You may notice misspellings and verbs not used correctly. For example, “Attached file is scanned image in PDF format.” The verb “is” is not used quite right or is missing a modifier.
  • Hovering over the web links will probably show that it points someplace other than what the link says on the email.
  • The email will have a PDF attached that is not really a PDF. When you click the PDF, it launches a zip file that encrypts everything. Hover over the file without clicking and you may see that it is a Zip file.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY COMPUTER IS INFECTED?

If you think your computer is infected, contact Solfecta Support immediately and we can help. In addition, you can run a virus scan on your computer to help identify if your computer is infected. If your computer is infected, it takes multiple steps to remove the virus and we can help.

If you have any concerns that you may have Ransomware on your system, please contact us immediately.

Sources:

Naked Security by Sophos: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/10/18/cryptolocker-ransomware-see-how-it-works-learn-about-prevention-cleanup-and-recovery/

Norton by Symantec: http://us.norton.com/ransomware/article

 

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