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New Virus Alert: CryptoLocker!

There’s a new virus in town, and it’s pretty nasty.


CryptoLocker (or Crilock) has been active for the past week roughly. The virus is deleting it self after damage is caused, making it harder to find a fix/reverse engineer. . There are a several variants also.  It’s appears the virus is targeting files typically utilized by businesses, such as Word, Excel, etc. files.  The virus locates these files and encrypts them.  As of right now, there is no proven method of decrypting the affected files.  The only current solution to infection is to restore the files from an unaffected backup. The purpose of this virus seems to be to extort payment in exchange for ‘unlocking’ the hijacked and ransomed files.

From what we understand as long as they have a backup of their data that is not connected to the computer at the time of infection, the “segregated” data will be left untouched. This is a perfect example of the benefit of the “3-2-1s of data backup”. 3 copies of anything important, on at least 2 different types of media, with 1 copy offsite.  With this, at least the 1 copy off site should be safe from this virus.

All systems we have looked at were infected through social engineering. Victims received emails with alleged customer complaints containing attachments that were infected with a malware downloader. The downloader then downloaded and installed the actual CryptoLocker virus. Based on the targeted file types list, it is also clear that the virus is specifically targeting business users. Crypto virus targeted towards home users, will target music, picture, and video files. This virus though primarily targets file formats used by companies, completely ignoring common home user file types.


So to reiterate what we’ve said many times in the past, the best protection from this menace, is:


#1 – Layered security – a top rated retail anti-virus application, in combination with an active malware scanner, mail protection, and questioning suspicious activity.


#2 – backup, Backup, BACKUP YOUR DATA REGULARLY!!!


#3 – DON’T open email attachments that you don’t request or recognize!


And as always, if you find that your are infected, bring it to Geek Easy Computers and let us handle it for you.  Our experts will get you back on track with minimal data loss!  We want to make your technology easier!

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