Folks, there is a new player in the computer virus/malware game. It’s called CryptoLocker or Crilock for short. This has been around for about a year and is a form of ransomware. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Once this virus establishes itself on your computer, it encrypts files and holds them for a “ransom”. You cannot unlock the files it has encrypted without paying a fee to the perpetrators.
How it gets in: Simply put, the virus will enter your computer through an attachment, usually in an email. If the attachment is downloaded (opened in most cases) the virus then spreads itself throughout your system and then locks down the files on your computer. Unlike some viruses or malware that simply lock up your computer, this one attacks the files on your computer and renders them useless without paying their ransom. Most people have regularly used files on either their personal or work computers, right? They are hoping that it will be important enough for you to pay the ransom.
How to protect yourself: The very first step you should take is to purchase a good, reliable anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware software program. If you already have one loaded on your computer, make sure it is updating regularly to protect against the latest threats, including CryptoLocker. Next step, make sure to keep all of your important data backed up on a regular basis. Next important tip, DO NOT under ANY circumstance open email attachments unless you know the person sending it. If you get something that looks to be from your insurance company, bank, doctor, etc.. make sure, if you weren’t expecting it, to play it safe and call them to see if it’s legit.
Hopefully none of you will ever have to worry about this. If it happens, give us a call and we will help to the best of our ability.