I’ve written about virus and malware outbreaks before in this blog, but the Crypto Locker Virus is a particularly destructive “Ransomware-type” malware. The problem with Crypto Locker is that even once the malware is removed, the damage remains. An additional concern for small businesses is that the Crypto Locker virus, actually a malware, encrypts all the data on the initial computer and continues through the entire network, as long as machines continue to run. Very scary.
NoWorriesIT President sent a security alert out to our clients last week, notifying them of the potential threat the Crypto Locker Virus poses. See CRYPTO LOCKER SECURITY ALERT>>
How Does the Crypto Locker Virus Work
Similar to the Revington, or FBI Virus, which was reported earlier, an infected user will typically experience a locked screen with a display claiming that the FBI has found incriminating files on the computer. The display will require a payment of a fine, generally $300 but anywhere between $100-$700, within a short time period, generally no more than 7 days. (And by the way, if you do not pay the fine or get the virus removed, your data will be destroyed, so you can’t take this lightly.) The “ransom” comes with the promise to deliver an decryption key.
Again, please note that while the malware can be removed, the damage has already been done to your data. That is what makes the Crypto Locker Virus particularly dangerous.
Preventative Measures to Protect Yourself from Crypto Locker Virus
While some small businesses would like to believe that their Anti-virus software is capable of blocking this nasty Crypto Locker Virus, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, AV companies are scrambling to come up with software to defend against it. See PREVENTATIVE MEASURES>>
What To Do If You Do Get Infected with Crypto Locker Virus
Unfortunately, your first knowledge of infection will be after the damage to your data is already done. There have been success stories of companies that have payed the “ransom,” received the decryption key and were able to go along their merry way. See NEWS STATION ABC 33-40>>
However, there have been additional reports of people paying the ransom, receiving the decryption key, and having the restoration interrupted 1/2 through, so that they only received some of their files back. Since there is no one to contact – no customer service center for malware authors! – these folks were basically out of luck. READ MORE HERE>>
However, your IT provider can provide some remediation, depending on the severity of the case, without having to resort to paying the fee. Either way once infected by the Crypto Locker Virus you will be spending money, unfortunately. See STEPS TO TAKE ONCE INFECTED>>
Photo: CryptoLocker Ransomware Information Guide and FAQ, http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptolocker-ransomware-information