What is CryptoLocker?
CryptoLocker is a malicious program that when installed will encrypt important files and documents on your computer making them unusable, and then demand payment to restore access to them. Once your files have been encrypted by CryptoLocker they are not recoverable by any means other than paying the money demanded. Even if you do choose to pay there are reports that the decryption process does not always successfully work.
How does CryptoLocker get installed?
CryptoLocker is usually installed through email attachments disguised as PDF files, the emails may come from any source including people known to you, but usually look as if they are from legitimate companies regarding a customer service issue, opening the ‘PDF’ file will install CryptoLocker.
CryptoLocker can also be installed through previously installed Malware via the Java 6 vulnerability.
How do I know if my computer is infected with CryptoLocker?
Your computer will display a message saying that your files are encrypted and give instructions for obtaining a key to decrypt them, payment is usually $300 (£185).
How can I protect myself against CryptoLocker?
Make sure that you never open emails that look at all suspicious if in doubt contact the sender.
Make sure your computer is protected against the Java 6 vulnerability (click here for more details).
Make sure your computer is protected by Anti-Virus software that includes Malware protection*.
Make sure all your important files are regularly backed up to a remote computer / device**.
*Scomis provide McAfee Anti-Virus software at favourable rates, for more information click here.
**Scomis provide a Remote Backup service which backs up and securely stores your important files on a daily basis, for more information click here.
Reviewed on 28/10/2016