Just over a month since the Heartbleed Bug and yet we are already facing the next big security threat, also known as Cryptolocker.
Cryptolocker is a type of malware (malicious software) known as ransomware. The software is typically spread through infected email attachments or website links.
As the name implies, ‘ransomware’ gives criminals the ability to lock and control your computer remotely and then hold you to ransom.
What you need to know about Cryptolocker ransomware
Ransomware is particularly nasty because infected users are in danger of losing your personal files and then being held at ransom to pay the criminals (typically sums of £300) in order to get your own data back!
Reports indicate that some victims after paying the ransom are being given access to their data but there is no guarantee as others have lost their precious data despite paying the ransom money!
No surprise really as cyber criminals are not really the most trustworthy group of people. The best way forward is to protect yourself and avoid being infected in the first place.
How to protect yourself against Cryptolocker ransomware
Despite the large scale co-ordinated effort to take down the computers and criminals that are running the notorious Cryptolocker scam, the best advice is to prevent yourself from the risk of being infected in the first place.
• Ensure every device you own is protected by a commercial grade anti-virus product. We supply this for as little as £2+VAT/month, a very small price for peace of mind.
• No anti-virus product is 100% bullet proof, every single internet user needs to become web savvy. This means, never clicking on attachments or links that look dodgy, even if they seem to have been sent from someone you recognise.
• Backing up your data to the cloud is something Nippy Gecko IT would always advice and this is particularly relevant for nasty infections such as Cryptolocker. In short, if you have a copy of your data elsewhere then you can not be held at ransom to retrieve this. Get in touch to find out about our online data backup bundles.
What to do if you are infected
If this advice is too late and you are already infected, switch off your machine as soon as possible and get in contact with us immediately as we may still be able to help. We have many malware scan tools that we can use to identify and remove this along with other infections.
If you take nothing else away from this article then please remember to be safe online by protecting yourself with a good anti-virus product, backing up your data and taking care when opening attachments and links.