Computer Security

CryptoLocker – A Virus With The Potential To Destroy All Your Files

This is the worst virus I have read about and this is the first version of a virus that will undoubtedly be adapted and modified as time goes on.

What does CryptoLocker do ?

After you have the virus it will encrypt and infect the files on your computer , network storage and detachable storage , this means you cannot open them.

It will put a countdown clock on your desktop on that gives you 96 hours to pay $100 – $300 to an account so you can get the key to decrypt your encrypted files.

If you cannot get them decrypted you have effectively lost everything on your computer.

How Do You Get the Virus?

You will open a link in an email from a bank , parcel delivery company etc that will get you to check details in a PDF or document , attached to that document is an executable file that will run CryptoLocker when you click on that file.

What Should You Do If You Get It 

Get that computer off the internet 

Get someone in who knows what this virus looks like to make sure it is CryptoLocker and not just a ransomware virus , there is a difference.

If it is CryptoLocker and this pains me to say it , pay the ransom in hope you may get the encryption key and be able to access your files.

If you get your files back ( big if , but some have been known to get them ) back them up , wipe the computer and restore the operating system from a known source , do all updates and then reload your software and documents 

If you have a good backup that you can access and that works then do not pay the ransom , just wipe wipe the computer and restore the operating system from a known source , do all updates and then reload your software and documents 

How Do You Avoid It ?

Keep your system updated, Windows updates automatic and optional , Adobe updated ( reader and flash ) , Java updated 

Treat emails with great suspicion and switch to an online email account such as Gmail from Google 

What About Online Backups ?

If you use online backups, disconnect them from your computer asap ( Crashplan , Carbonite  , Dropbox , Skydrive ) in case encrypted files are uploaded.

Will My Antivirus Get It ?

From what I have read and listened to, no, they are weeks away and currently have no solution 

There is one piece of software that may help you Cryptoprevent but it is what you do that counts.

For more information : 

Destructive malware “CryptoLocker” on the loose – here’s what to do 

Cryptolocker Ransomware Information Guide

How To Fight CryptoLocker  

How You Can Beat The Cryptolocker Virus  

 

Richard Pascoe is a technology consultant & technology commentator for the media on FIVEaa , ABC Adelaide , PowerFM , 5MU , 7AD and 7BU and has been seen on the Channel 7 news , Channel 9 News , Channel 10 news and Today Tonight . Richard gives his opinions on Microsoft , Google , Apple and deals with personal computers , smartphones and tablets.

1 comment on “CryptoLocker – A Virus With The Potential To Destroy All Your Files

  1. Duane Ferguson

    I’d recommend a ghost imaging software tool as a backup. I make ghost images of all our computers once a week, and always keep two images of each machine (Therefore, I have a backup I made last Friday, and another that I made the Friday before). I will delete the oldest backup before creating a new one, simply because (even with a 2 terabyte NAS) I’m pressed for storage space.

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