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Don’t Lose Your Data to Ransomware [Virus Alert]
posted: 11/19/2013    updated: 11/24/2014    expired: 11/23/2014

Cryptolocker is a kind of malware known as ransomware which encrypts documents, images, videos, and music on all of the hard drives as well as the network drives attached to an infected computer. The encrypted files are unusable unless a ransom is paid.

The malware most commonly spreads as a zip attachment to a phishing email disguised as a notice from a legitimate business such as FedEx or UPS. The phishing variants have evolved since the ransomware first began spreading, so messages may appear to come from one of many sources. Infections may also occur by browsing to compromised web sites.

How do I protect myself?

  • Confirm that your antivirus is running and is up to date.
  • Do not open unexpected attachments.
  • Use caution when clicking on links in an email message.

Who is at risk?

This malware is known to affect all current versions of Microsoft’s operating systems including Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

What to do if I am infected?

  • Turn off your computer.
  • Contact the helpdesk.
  • Do not attempt to remove the infection.

Further reading

Several articles have been written by security experts describing this new form of malware. These articles include screenshots, videos, and tips on avoiding infections.

The US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) has several articles explaining how to avoid infections when reading email.

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