CryptoLocker: A Reminder to Have a Backup Plan
A sophisticated piece of malware, CryptoLocker, has been making headlines over the past few weeks. Cryptolocker is a malicious program that is known as ransomware, which forces users to pay a specific amount of money to recover their files. The malware is spread through phishing campaigns, with an attachment that appears to be a PDF document, but is really an installer file. Once the malware infects a machine, it will encrypt files and then inform the user that they must pay a ransom of $300 to unlock files within 72 hours. It does appear this 72 hour deadline has eased up in the past week, allowing a user to pay a ransom fee after this period, but at a higher price.
Tips to protect your computers from a CryptoLocker infection:
1. Do not open email attachments that look suspicious. Be especially cautious of files that look like PDF attachments.
2. Do not follow unsolicited web links in email.
3. Do not download and install files from non-reputable companies.
4. Back up your PC using Rebit with full system protection. Rebit will create a full system recovery point every 24 hours. If you are infected, you can restore your machine from a previous recoverypoint. Although a local Rebit drive is mapped, CryptoLocker only encrypts select file extensions and it will not encrypt your Rebit backup.
5. Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
For more extensive information on this threat, see BleepingComputer.com’s CryptoLocker Ransomware Information Guide and FAQ.