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CryptoLocker on the Rise, Beware!

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Recently, we have had several more incidents of CryptoLocker ransomware infections reported by our customers.  There is a growing trend in this newer type of malware, but CryptoLocker is the most dangerous to emerge and should not be taken lightly.  Here’s what you need to know:

Currently, we understand that operating systems affected by this virus include Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP.    The virus appears to spread through phony emails often purporting to contain tracking notices from legitimate sources such as FedEx and UPS.  This is especially concerning during the holiday season as many of us are sending and receiving packages.

If infected the malware will find and encrypt files located on your computer and shared network drives which can extend to USB drives, network servers, external backup drives and potentially cloud storage drives.

Victims are then held ransom and advised to pay up to $300 using a third-party payment method (Bitcoin, MoneyPak) within 100 hours to receive the decryption key to unlock the infected files.  Reports show this is no idle threat either.  If the ransom demands are not met it becomes nearly impossible to ever recover the files and unfortunately some victims have reported they did not receive the promised decryption keys after sending payment.  If infected you’ll see a message like this appear on your computer:

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