Sounds like a cheesy movie on the Thriller Channel huh? "Tales of the CryptoLocker"... Sadly, it's far more serious and far more frightening in real life.. The CryptoLocker was actually a ransomware trojan, which was targeting computers that were running Microsoft Windows- and was believed to have first posted to the Internet on September 5, 2013.
The CryptoLocker would spread via infected email attachments, and via an existing botnet (a collection of internet-connected programs communicating with other similar programs in order to perform tasks). When it was activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local network drives, and then the malware displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a payment is made by a "stated" deadline. In addition, a threat is made to delete the private key if the deadline passes- which, if the deadline did in fact pass, you are then offered the "opportunity" to pay for an online service to decrypt the data, for? You guessed it; an even HIGHER price.
What should you do in this situation? Well, the jury is out in reference to experience. Some individuals said paying the ransom DID help, however even though the CryptoLocker itself was readily removed, the files STILL remained encrypted in a way which was basically considered infeasible to break. Others said don't even attempt to pay the ransom, because in some instances although they did pay, their files still weren't decrypted. One thing that you absolutely should have done? Back those things up. (see previous blog)...
Sounds like a hostage situation huh? Well, in essence, that's exactly what it is. Hackers get your data, demand a ransom, and threaten to "harm" your information if the money is not paid. And, as with any ransom- you run the risk of paying and still not receiving your end of the bargain. So now what? Relax, and know that we've got you covered. Call us before doing anything, and let our team of professionals guide your next move. We are here, to help protect you.