This afternoon, I dealt with my first victim of the new Cryptolocker/Crilock virus which has been doing the rounds. It’s an extremely nefarious family of Ransomware that encrypts files using asymmetric encryption, which is impossible to break. I was able to remove the actual infection using Malwarebytes (Free), but the poor lady has been left without access to any of her files and there is nothing I can do to help her.
- Ensure all updates are installed for Windows and other third-party software.
- Back up your files. However, a local backup may not be enough, as Crilock may even go after backups located on a network drive of an infected PC.
- Be careful – don’t open emails with attachments or links from somebody you don’t know, only visit trustworthy websites, don’t download files unless you trust the source.
Take this message away and check that your computers are fully up to date including good antivirus and malware protection. Always be careful when opening email attachments and online downloads. If you suspect Cryptolocker has infected your computer (see the screenshot to the right), pull the power immediately and seek help – it does take quite a while for it to fully encrypt all of your files so you have a chance to limit the damage.
Oh, and Mac users… Contrary to popular belief, you’re NOT immune to virus infections so check out the free Mac Antivirus from Sophos.