What is Crypto Locker?
Crypto Locker is malicious software that encrypts your data files (Word, Excel, powerpoint documents, pictures, music, videos, etc.). The individual(s) responsible for infecting your system then hold your data for ransom and try to extort money from you. Often Crypto Locker malware may be disguised as a UPS or FedEx Tracking Notice
What computers are at risk?
All computers using Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 are at risk. This includes any Apple or Linux based computers running Windows in a virtual environment like Bootcamp, Parallels or VMWare.
What is encryption?
Encryption encodes your data so only you and authorized people or authorized websites can read or access the data. (Example – When you use a banking website that has “https” in the address bar, the information you transmit to and from that website is encrypted/encoded).
Why is it dangerous?
The encryption designed to safeguard your data is used against you when Crypto Locker infects your computer. Your data files are encrypted with a unique key that only the malicious people/hackers have access to. Encryption cannot be broken at this point-in-time without the key. When your data is encrypted by Crypto Locker if you do not have the key, the data is essentially lost forever .
How can I protect my data?
A. Backup your data to another location (network drive, external hard drive, cloud storage, etc.) Disconnect that drive when you are NOT backing up your data to it.
B. Consider paying for an online backup solution.
C. Disconnect all drives that you are not actively using.
What if I think my computer is infected?
A. Disconnect the computer immediately from ALL networks wired or wireless.
B. Contact the Computer Help Desk at 963.7777
How can I avoid the malware infection?
A. Don't go to online porn sites, which are often the source of malware downloads.
B. Take care when clicking on advertisements; never open Twitter links and attachments from people you don't know or trust.
C. Don’t click on any ‘Tracking Notices’ if you are not sure they are legitimate.
On your personally owned computers you can:
1. Download and run the CryptoPrevent tool - http://www.foolishIT.com/download/cryptoprevent/
2. Do not download files from Torrent services. These files are often bundled with malware infections.