The infamous CryptoLocker computer virus is back – with a vengeance! Millions of PC’s worldwide including 100’s of PC’s across just Central Queensland will get hit with the latest strain of this Ransomware virus that jumped onto the worldwide IT stage just a year ago.
The picture below shows its latest form – masquerading as a New South Wales speeding fine, it is completely catching out the less wary PC user.
Clicking on either the ‘INVOICE’ or the ‘VIEW CAMERA IMAGES’ link results in what appears to be nothing happening, however CryptoLocker is now downloading and installing onto your PC in stealth mode. Before you even realise that you have a problem it will next ‘encrypt’ or ‘lock’ all of your user files as well as searching for any attached USB drives and network shares to perform the same actions on these as well.
The following message will next be plastered across your entire PC screen –
This virus “locks you out” of opening or using your pictures, Word & Excel documents, emails and even in some cases tax packages such as MYOB & QuickBooks. There is currently NO CURE to unlock these files once this has happened – there is no turning the clock back or trying to remove the encryption from them, they are now rendered useless to you. Your only hope at this stage is that you have a recent backup copy of all of the files that you value on a backup drive which has not yet been infected.
If you have lost vital information and are thinking of paying the ransom – forget it! There are already hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide that have paid (in some individual cases even more than $10,000 U.S.) in a desperate attempt to get their data back however this has only contributed to the burgeoning coffers of the virus creators.
Paying their ransom has not resulted in any reprieve from the situation. Even if your antivirus is able to rid your PC of the active components of the virus, your files are still left encrypted and the following message is then displayed.
At Kerr Solutions we have already seen over a dozen cases of this virus in Central Queensland since Wednesday this week. For the majority of our customers we have removed the virus from their PC and then recovered their data from a recent backup – for many others they have lost ALL of their files & unfortunately we know this is going to happen to many more!
For a more comprehensive review of this latest Internet threat as well as tips on prevention see Bruce’s latest Byte Me article on Page …..