CryptoLocker Virus Takes Your Computer Hostage Until You Pay $300

New CryptoLocker Ransomware Demands $300 To Unlock Your Files

Malware that can take your computer hostage until you pay a ransom is becoming more prevalent, and is enabled by the growth of digital payment systems that allow a fair bit of anonymity, like Bitcoin.  This type of virus is known as “ransomware” .

It is unique because of the way it locks you out of your computer. Reportedly, recovering your data after infection is near impossible, unless you pay the ransom, as corroborated by infection stories across the internet and technology security sites. Here is an excerpt from the UK version of The Guardian:

“”If you haven’t got a backup and you get hit by CryptoLocker, you may as well have dropped your PC over the side of a bridge,” says Paul Ducklin, security adviser for anti-virus software company Sophos. Even if you had backed up your files, he says, if your back-up device was connected to your computer when CryptoLocker struck, you may not be able to recover them. Similarly, all the files in shared network drives that were connected at the time of the attack could also become encrypted and inaccessible.”

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/oct/19/cryptolocker-attacks-computer-ransomeware

Prevention is key here.  Yes, it can be removed, but perhaps not without lost data.  This one is nasty.  Be extra careful and don’t download funny looking attachments.

Prevention via avoidance:

Quite simply, don’t open attachments from unknown senders, and treat all attachments from all senders with a little suspicion.

Prevention with network monitoring:

Network and server monitoring ensures all your devices have automated software and security settings, user permissions are set to restrict the download of certain types of files, and potential virus threats are detected and quarantined before executed. You can learn more about our network monitoring and managed IT services here.

Protection via offsite backup:

External hard drives are a favourite amongst budget conscious business owners, however they do not protect in the case of fire, flood or other such disaster. They wouldn’t protect data against a ransomware attack either. Offsite back up is a better solution for your data.

Here is the full CryptoLock ransomware story: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/youre-infected-if-you-want-to-see-your-data-again-pay-us-300-in-bitcoins/

And another link explaining how CryptoLock ransomware works, technically speaking: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/10/12/destructive-malware-cryptolocker-on-the-loose/

Network Security Services – Toronto, Markham, Durham Region

TUCU is a Toronto IT Support Company serving small teams of up to 20 people.  For more information about our computer support and network security services, please call 416-292-3300today.

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[…] may care because IT threats against small business have been steadily rising.  New threats such as cryptolockers are emerging. And experts say that many breaches are preventable but users don’t do the […]

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[…] may care because IT threats against small business have been steadily rising.  New threats such as crypto locker are emerging. And experts say that many breaches are preventable but users don’t do the […]

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