Cryptolocker Scare

Cryptolocker Scare

Cryptolocker is an updated ransom ware where con artist will ask you to pay bitcoin and moneypak. This malware is a trojan horse in nature affecting simple computer users to business and large enterprise, affecting windows user which  intends to harm or deny access to data, files or a computer until payment is made to the criminals who infected the device.

This aggressive virus is far more dangerous than other contemporaries, it’s spreads rapidly and demands huge amount of money under a tight deadline. If an alert shows in your screen which says - you have 96 hours (or four days) to pay $300 or lose all your encrypted personal files forever. A countdown is already ticking on your screen.

According to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, it spreads through an email that appears to be a tracking notification from UPS or FedEx, though some victims said they got infected on the tail end of wiping out a previous botnet infection. And in case it wasn’t clear, you don’t need to be in the US to become infected.

Victim files are encrypted using asymmetric encryption. Asymmetric encryption uses two different keys for encrypting and decrypting messages. Asymmetric encryption is a more secure form of encryption as only one party is aware of the private key, while both sides know the public key.

While victims are told they have three days to pay the attacker through a third-party payment method (MoneyPak, Bitcoin), some victims have claimed online that they paid the attackers and did not receive the promised decryption key.  US-CERT and DHS encourage users and administrators experiencing a ransomware infection to report the incident to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Just like the old saying goes, an hour of prevention is worth a pound of cure so any SMB;’s or individual using windows you are most likely the vulnerable victim so make sure that your email services has the best spam and antivirus  filtering device to avoid the virus reaching the end users. An old advice which works as first line of defense is to keep your antivirus, anti malware up to date, Don’t open unexpected email attachments or follow unsolicited web links, Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches and finally, the most unerring way to recover from Cryptolocker is provided by the most critical component of the IT framework: an adequate and fully functional backup. The backup process should be tested religiously to ensure the backup copies are usable in the event they may be needed. If a user is infected with Cryptolocker, being able to quickly restore files is the most effective way to recover from the blitz.

The security measures for any new versions of ransomware are the same with the  original Cryptolocker ransomware. A copycat version only highlights how vital it is to have an effective backup routine in place. That, coupled with properly educating customers and users itself about intelligent email practices, will prove priceless to any business and internet users.

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