By now you may have heard, or at worst been affected, but the latest round of “Ransomware” called Cryptolocker. This very nasty piece of software creeps onto your system via fake or “Phishing” emails (more often than not from delivery companies like FedEx, DHL etc.) and encrypts all of your files. It then pops up on screen with a countdown timer and demands that you pay an amount to decrypt your files before the timer runs out, this can be from £100 right up to £2000!
What is encryption? Well, it basically a way of jumbling up your files so they are no use without a hidden key to access them, which unfortunately is what they want you to pay for!
Now while we have seen this sort of thing in the past with the danger often simply playing on your fear of losing your files, this new take CAN put all your cherished files beyond reasonable recovery.
Backup, backup, backup! We say it all the time, but this is the only way to recover from this infection. It is also worth noting that on line or “Cloud” based storage solutions, which allow “Versioning” (the ability to allow to to restore a previous version of a file) are the only real option here, as Cryptolocker has also been known to go after local network backups and also mounted USB backup drives.
Whilst the infection itself can be removed fairly easily the files cannot be rescued after encryption. Please note, the encryption happens before or as soon as you know you are infected, so we need a usable backup from before that point to get you up and running again.
There is an excellent free tool available for download from Foolish I.T, which helps to block some of the security holes in Windows which this nasty piece of software exploits; just click the link below:
Whilst this can help the vast majority of people, prevention is better than cure here and making sure you don’t make a mistake and get infected in the first place will ensure that you still have a happy Christmas with your I.T!
Need more info, get in touch?