Crypto Locker Virus

Crypto Locker Virus

Ok, I know that we are all cautious when it comes to viruses and we always try to ensure that we have our anti-virus programs up to date. However, in reality the worst case scenario is that if you are unlucky enough to become infected all you will need to do is pay someone like me some folding stuff to come and sort it out for you. Even if you are badly infected, computer experts can in most cases recover all of your important data (as long as you haven’t tried too hard to fix it yourself that is!)

Well that was until now! In our UK office we are starting to see more and more infections of the new Crypto Locker virus – and this one’s a real nasty! The virus works in a very similar way to others that we have commonly seen here. It is classed as “ransomware” so, like the FBI style virus that you have probably heard about, it locks you out of your computer and then demands some form of payment from you. Believe it or not I have had some customers feel so intimidated that they have actually paid up – all I can tell you is that the virus did not disappear and of course the customer had handed over his credit card details to criminals; but I’m sure they wouldn’t use them again, would they??

As I was saying the Crypto Locker virus is “ransomware” so it locks you out of your computer and demands money from you in order to get access again and in my experience even if you pay up you won’t get back into your computer. The difference with this virus is that it also encrypts all of your data! The upshot of this is that it’s going to be pretty much impossible to get your data back; and as I said before even if you pay them it’s still not very likely! The virus not only encrypts the data on your computer, but if you are part of a network (i.e. in an office) then it also encrypts any data that you have access to from your computer – like that on external hard drives (if they are plugged in) and drives connected via network shares. So if you are in an office this thing could cause some major issues!

This brings me, again, onto the subject of backups because this is your ONLY form of protection from this virus – if you don’t have a backup of your data then you will lose all your data, it’s really quite as simple as that. We can even do the backup for you at our shop on the Moncayo market, we offer a free backup service when you buy one of our memory sticks and we even put a free program on your computer so that you can continue to take your own backups going forward. If you have your own memory stick or external hard drive and just want the free program installing and setting up, with a bit of training, then pop along anyway – we are really not expensive and you would be protecting yourself from potentially losing everything important to you on your computer.

Please remember to only open emails from people that you know. Don’t ever click on links in emails unless you are VERY sure that they are legitimate, some of these emails look very legitimate, but just “engage brain before clicking”. If you are ever unsure then give me a ring before you click!