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Cryptolocker: New malware warning Has Canadian’s Files Hostage



[caption id="attachment_73126" align="aligncenter" width="608"]Cryptolocker  New malware warning Cryptolocker New malware warning[/caption]Cryptolocker Malware Ransoming Innocent Victims

Imagine your most personal files being locked, by malware, and you are required to pay a ransom to have the ability to open them. Well, that is exactly what is happening with the new Cryptolocker malware.

The CryptoLocker virus comes attached to a spoof email from a major Canadian bank or courier service.

It essentially creeps into your system through professional looking PDF or ZIP files, which are sent via email. One victim opened a PDF file, which looked like it was sent by the U.S. Post Office. This is why it is critical not to open any attachments from emails you aren't expecting. Even if you are expecting an email, do not open any attachments until you can verify the sender.

For the past six weeks, Cryptolocker has been moving quite fast and furiously. According to Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos, “It systematically hunts down every one of your personal files – documents, databases, spreadsheets, photos, videos and music collections – and encrypts them with military-grade encryption and only the crooks can open it."

You should not run your computer without security systems and anti-virus software installed. However, even anti-virus applications are responsive, at best. So, you need to be proactive with what emails you choose to open. The Crpytolocker malware doesn't show signs of its presence, as your computer continues to run normally. It can't be removed because it encrypts your files. The only encryption key available is held by the creators of the virus. It even displays a 72-hour clock to alert you as to how much time you have before the key is obliterated. And, even if you pay their ransom, you don't know for sure, if you will get your files back.

Take precautions with your messaging systems, and back up all your files regularly.

Here are a few tips to protect your system from the virus:
- Make sure you have quality, up-to-date, anti-virus software installed on your computer
- Don't open questionable e-mails or their attachments
- Back up your data regularly

On The Web:

Nasty new malware locks your files forever, unless you pay ransom

Karen is a Toronto based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2011, covering many topics including politics and world issues. Prior to her work writing and editing for eCanadaNow, she worked as a freelance journalist. You can email Karen at [Karene at]


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