CryptoLocker, a new and nasty piece of malicious software is infecting computers around the world – encrypting important files and demanding a ransom to unlock them.
According to Sophos, the worldwide digital security company, it’s been hitting pretty hard for the past six weeks or so.
“It systematically hunts down every one of your personal files – documents, databases, spreadsheets, photos, videos and music collections – and encrypts them with military-grade encryption and only the crooks can open it,” said Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos.
Even though it’s infected, your computer keeps working normally; you just can’t access any of your personal files. It’s scary, especially if you haven’t backed-up your data.
“Cybercrime is evolving, as the bad guys get smarter and use newer technologies,” noted Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “They’re always looking for new ways to steal your money.”
CyrptoLocker is different from other types of “ransomware” that have been around for many years now that freeze your computer and demand payment. They can usually be removed which restores access to your files and documents.
Not CryptoLocker – it encrypts your files. There’s only one decryption key and the bad guys have that on their server. Unless you pay the ransom – within three days, that key will be destroyed. And as the message from the extorters says” “After that, nobody and never will be able to restore files…”
The typical extortion payment is $300 USD or 300 EUR paid by Green Dot MoneyPak, or for the more tech savvy, two Bitcoins, currently worth about $400.
See the rest of the story at: http://www.today.com/money/nasty-new-malware-locks-your-files-forever-unless-you-pay-8C11511655