Crypto Locker Virus Warning-Truth!

Summary of the eRumor:
This is a forwarded email warning about opening attachments in emails from strangers. A harmless looking doc, xls, jpg or ppt file could lock up your computer and hold it for ransom until you agree to pay cyber criminals for a key.

The Truth:  
The warning is real and so is the Crypto Locker ransomware according to a October 3, 2013 article by WSET News, an ABC affiliate in Lynchburg, VA.    The article said, "It's as simple as opening an email or visiting a contaminated website, and once it hits your software victims say the only thing to do, is pay up."


Sample of a cyber locked screen
 
 

Sophos.com, an antivirus software manufacturer,  warned that "malware writers are constantly updating and releasing new variants and families,"  so having current anti virus protection is the best safeguard against such ransomware.

Posted 10/09/13

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

As you may already know, there is a SERIOUS virus going around which encrypts all your office documents and other important files. It's called Crypto Locker. Be extremely careful opening email attachments. DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS unless you are 100% positive you know what it is even if you are expecting an email with an attachment. This virus can be spread by other people's infected computer sending emails without their knowledge. The attachments are coming in several different formats, some examples are: UPS tracking information, late payment please review attachment .doc .xls .ppt .eps .ai .jpg .srw .cer .DO NOT OPEN.

Please read below for more information and links!

http://techslate.net/crypto-locker-the-business-killer/

http://www.pcrisk.com/removal-guides/7327-cryptolocker

For those of you in IT Management, see this...

http://www.alaska.edu/oit/services/antivirus-phishing/4oct2013-cryptolocker/

This virus causes irreversible damage unless you pay the ransom which is anywhere from $100-$300 paid via Walmart green dot money pak cards.

DO NOT OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS unless you are 1000% positive you know what it is. Even if you are expecting an email with an attachment, contact the sender to be sure they sent it as these viruses can be spread by other people's computer being infected and emails being sent without their knowledge.

Remember, this encryption is IRREVERSIBLE without paying the ransom and once the timer runs out, your files will NOT be recoverable. The ONLY other way to recover them is to have cold storage backups. This virus can infect all hot backups and other computers on network shares. Anyone who does not have backups should IMMEDIATELY buy a flash drive or external backup drive and make full backups of all documents as often as possible and keep it disconnected anytime you are not running a backup. Two independent backups would be safer since this virus does the damage to your system BEFORE it alerts you that you are infected and demands a ransom payment.

Please be careful!

Thank you,