cryptolocker    Well, the “geniuses” that develop Malware have come up with a doozy this time.  If you get CryptoLocker. Locky, TeslCrypt… on your machine you are basically FUBARed.  This nice little piece of Malware encrypts most of your files (70 known file extensions) and has you pay a nice little two Bitcoin ( 1 Bitcoin is $823 USD at time of writing) ransom within 72 hours or the fee goes to ten Bitcoins in order to receive the decryption password.  Considering that Bitcoin hit a high last week of over $1000 real dollars per coin, you are looking at serious cash to get access to your files again.

If you contract this monster, you only have three possible non-pay choices, if it has not destroyed your shadow copy files.  One, run a restore point and pray it works. Two, right click the file you want to read and hit “properties” then “previous versions” and again pray to the computer gods that a shadow copy can be copied back. Three, upload the ransom text file and a sample file to have it identified and pray there is a decryption tool. Most of the new variants kill these two options though.  So, what do you do?  Either pony up the cash or lose your data.  The best minds in the business have no “fix” for this beast at present.

The Malware at present is mostly spread via bogus emails from a “bank”, “post office”, “FedEx”, “UPS”… notification you receive in your inbox.  Look for them and do not open them!  If this Malware does manage to spread to drive-by infected sites, like many other forms of Malware, the problem could quickly escalate to critical for most computer users.

The best “cure” is prevention. Back up your data to a NON-NETWORK device!  If this crap hits your machine, remove the virus and infected files and run your backup.  We at Computer Mekanix Charlotte can help if you need it.