Viruses can be annoying, but the CryptoLocker virus (and other crypto-malware infections) are down right scary. They may appear like any other type of ransomware, but don’t be fooled; infections like these will have lasting effects on your environment or workstation. The virus itself is easily removed by your friendly neighborhood IT professionals, but the after-effects of the virus are quite severe. The virus will encrypt a great many of your files and not give you the decryption password unless you pay $100 or more. Even then, it will only decrypt a single file at that price. Not all of your files will be encrypted/corrupted, but the big ones include all Office documents (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc), pictures, PDFs, and certificates. The virus may not only affect your computer, it could also affect the computers that you’re attached to, making it a very malicious infection.
The virus finds its way into a computer through trickery, such as an email attachment, false download link, or other files. If you’ve received an email that looks very suspicious with an attachment, do not open it! The easiest ones to open by mistake are the ones that get opened out of panic, such as an email stating that your Amazon account (for instance) has been charged $33,403.12 and the only way to refute the charge is to open the attachment. This is the suspicious sort of email that we’re trying to avoid. If you see these types of emails, be sure to alert us.
Once the virus is removed, the only reliable way to get everything back to normal is to restore your files from a backup, and hopefully a recent one.
We recently saw this type of infection after a client opened an email attachment he shouldn’t have. The CryptoLocker virus had encrypted the data on his computer, as well as over 5GB worth of data on the server, rendering it completely unusable. Fortunately, the client had signed up for our continuous backup protection, so the client was able to get all of their data back within an hour of the infection being removed.
If you suspect you’ve been infected with the CryptoLocker virus, or any other virus, please give us a call. Our technicians are happy to help remove the virus, and make recommendations for a good backup system.