Cryptolocker Part II

Posted by Stefanie Kober Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:31:00 GMT

A few months ago, we reported on a nasty new malware called Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a software that encrypts Windows users’ files and literally holds them ransom.

Cryptolocker emerged this past winter and it is still gaining momentum as it sweeps through America attacking sensitive business data. For example, the Area Chamber of Commerce in Bennington, Vermont, USA reportedly had its entire membership list, newsletter brochure templates and grant records encrypted during the attack, leaving it with only its basic financial records.

In the past, victims were able to pay the ransom in order to get their data back. However, a dentistry practice in Bennington, Vermont that had also been hit by the malware reported that they paid $550 in Bitcoins but received no unlock key to retrieve their encrypted files. This is a piece of a mounting evidence that Cryptolocker victims not able to retrieve their stolen data, regardless of their actions to appease the hacker.

Initially, it was assumed that Cryptolocker targets large businesses that can afford to pay a hefty ransom, however these recent reports imply that Cryptolocker targets could be anyone. Regardless the size of your business, the best defense against this malware is to conduct regular file backups. These backups must be disconnected from your computer in order to truly reduce your risk.

For more information about securing your computers and mobile devices, check out our free e-book, “How VPNs Help Providing Secure Mobile Workplaces.”

Readers, have you fallen victim to Cryptolocker? Did you pay the ransom? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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