First there were viruses, then Malware and now Ransomware. If you have ever wondered why anyone would do such a thing the answer is now clear. Money. As of today it is estimated that Cryptolocker creators have cleared over $30M US.
Once the thieves behind Cryptolocker have encrypted your files you will have 4 days to $300 by Bitcoin. A popup appears on your screen with a countdown starting at 96 hours. The warning indicates that if you don’t pay up all your encrypted personal files will be gone forever. And that is an accurate statement.
How do you catch Cryptolocker? It is most often transmitted as an executable disguised as a PDF file. Customers have told us that it appeared to be an accounting report.
How does Cryptolocker work? Cryptolocker encrypts users’ files with asymmetric encryption. This type of encryption requires a public and private key. The most recent version, detected as WORM_CRILOCK or WORM_CRILOCK.A allows both the infection and encryption to access removable drives.
How do I protect myself from CryptoLocker? The most important thing to do right now is have incremental backups that are not attached to your PC or the web. There are several accounts of the encryption infecting DropBox and Google Drive. Not to say that you are at additional rick using these types of backups only that they do not protect you from infection or encryption.
Avoiding file sharing will limit the risk of exposure but as these executables are cleverly disguised it is impossible to be 100% sure you won’t trip over one as an email attachment.