Ransomware - 'Cryptolocker'

A specific malware sub division, commonly known as 'Ransomware' is back in vogue again so here is some information from Cyber Security that may help prevent infection here at the Lab and on your personal machine(s).

Ransomware is a virus characterized by restricting access to your machine, or a particular file or files until you comply with the software's demands, usually in the form of paying a fee $$$ to the controlling organization of the virus.

Cryptolocker - Originally released into the wild in September 2013 and later gained widespread infection in October 2013 numerous reports of a new ransomware virus, named Cryptolocker quickly spread around the internet.  This ransomware is particularly devastating in that it can result in a permanent loss of data via encryption. 

After encrypting your files, the virus will present you with a pop-up screen that requests payment within 72 hours or your data will be permanently lost.

If you think you are infected with this Ransomware, DISCONNECT YOUR MACHINE FROM THE INTERNET IMMEDIATELY and call the helpdesk.

The best defense from ransomware and any other malicious software is to avoid becoming infected in the first place.  It is good practice to use the utmost caution when dealing with email attachments or random files from the internet, especially executables!  You should never install any executable on your machine unless you explicitly trust the source of the file.  Typically Cryptolocker is spread via email immitating UPS, DHS, Fedex, etc with a malicious attachment.