"Cryptolocker" encrypts computer files and demands ransom
A new breed of Malware has recently surfaced, this time instead of typical malware/virus behaviour - "CryptoLocker" encrypts files and demands a ransom of several hundred dollars within a few days in return for the key needed to decrypt those files.
After the deadline expires, the key needed to decrypt your files is reportedly deleted - rendering the encrypted files on your computer inaccessible.
"I don't think anyone in the world could break the encryption," says Gavin O'Gorman, spokesman for internet security firm Symantec. "It has held up for more than 30 years."
Sophos recommends the following actions to help prevent infection.
- Stay patched. Keep your operating system and software up to date.
- Make sure your anti-virus is active and up to date.
- Avoid opening attachments you weren't expecting, or from people you don't know well.
- Make regular backups, and store them somewhere safe, preferably offline.