Recently, a dangerous new variant of an old scam has been making the internet rounds, and it is something you need to protect yourself against.
Until recently, a piece of malware called Cryptolocker was a toothless threat, claiming to have encrypted your data and holding it hostage for ransom, usually anywhere from $100 to $500. In fact, it was not doing that, but was hoping to scare enough people into paying the money.
Now, a new variant has emerged that actually does what others have merely claimed to do. This variant does encrypt your information (documents, pictures, etc), making it impossible for you to edit, view, or copy them (think of an unbreakable glass box with a key), and then dangles the key in front of you, out of reach, for a ransom of $300 to $500 (or more). If the accompanying note is to be believed, once the payment has been received, your documents will be decrypted and then you can remove the infection and go along your merry way. Whether that actually happens or not is another question.
As with many viruses, it spreads thru email, using an infected attachment. If you do happen to get infected with this nasty piece of malware, your only recourse will be to restore your data from a backup. So you’d better have a backup to restore from, just in case, because if you don’t have one, THIS INFECTION WILL TAKE ALL YOUR DOCUMENTS AND PICTURES AND LOCK THEM AWAY FOREVER!
The last piece of important information to have is how to avoid this bug, right? Right. So, what you need is a current, active and up-to-date antivirus program, in conjunction with a program like Spybot S&D or SpywareBlaster, both of which block you from going to known bad locations and websites.
Honestly, we hope to not have to see any more of these in the wild, but if you want to be sure you are protected, or have questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call.
NovaTech Computer Services