In recent weeks we have had a few customers of ours that have been affected by a new CryptoLocker Virus.

With an infection from a CryptoLocker virus there is no way to recover your data unless you have a backup.

What is a CryptoLocker Virus?

This particular type of virus works as a "Data Ransom" virus. Meaning that it will scramble all of your data (Word Documents, Emails, Business Data etc.) it will then try to sell your data back to you at a given price (usually AUD$600-$1200). We cannot confirm that paying this ransom will recover your data. We also do not encourage you to pay this fee.

How can I avoid this virus?

This is a very hard virus to pick up on, as it runs in the background while it does the work and then notifies you when it has finished encrypting all of your data.

Versacom has 3 tips to help prevent or minimise damage from the virus:

  1. Keep your Anti-Virus software up-to-date - Anti-Virus software will never be 100% but keeping it updated will protect your from the viruses they are aware of.
  2. Keep a disconnected or Cloud Backup - Have a backup of your PC that is not connected all the time (otherwise the virus will encrypt this too) or have a cloud backup solution. Check out the Versacom Cloud Backup.
  3. Be vigilant - question every email you recieve, if you are not expecting it then be careful. Don't open any attachment that is a .zip file unless you know the person. Even if you do know the person, do not open it unless you are expecting it (or send them a reply to confirm)

Where does this virus come from?

We have seen this virus come from many different locations.

Our top 3 places are:

  1. Emails - Most common emails are disguised as emails from government agencies (i.e. State Revenue Office) or in the form of someone supplying a Resume.
  2. Malicious Websites - Websites that have been infected with Malware or setup to be disguised as a legitimate website.
  3. Social Media Links - Although Facebook and Google+ try their very best to stop these sort of links, they do show up.

What do I do if I get this virus?

The best thing you can so if you suspect you have opened this virus file on your PC is to turn it off immediately to avoid any data loss. Take your PC and backups to a virus removal specialist. Versacom provides a flat rate of $99 for virus removal and backup restoration.

Versacom does not encourage you to pay the ransom for your data. Simply ensure you have a backup of your importanat data. Remember an old backup is better than no backup at all.