Update: As of 1 June 2015, it appears as if the authors of the Cryptolocker virus have made some changes to the virus and recent submissions of infected files to site decryptcryptolocker.com have not identified the virus infection. This means that there is little free help out there for this plague.
In order to protect yourself, make sure that you have an antivirus active. One of the most cost effective solutions is to get Malwarebytes. Make sure that you have the Premium version and that it remains active to protect you. Cost is about A$34-00 and you can load it onto 3 PC’s.
Cryptolocker ransomware – now rife!
It is also probably the most devastating, especially if you happen to have your back-up drive connected or you are connected to shared folders on your network at the time of the infection. Cryptolocker will encrypt all files it can find, rendering your data useless. A few months ago, the BBC reported that a website had cracked the code and was offering free keys to decrypt the data. I am not sure how this will affect newly infected users as the key is unique to every infection. Read the BBC article to gain access to the site if you are an IT professional.
If you have clicked on a link in an email and you are fortunate enough to realise your error, switch off your machine immediately before the malware encrypts all your data. In order for it to work, it needs to get the encryption key with an online server. If you are a victim of Cryptolocker ransomware, don’t make the mistake of trying to repair it yourself. DIY ends up costing you more and the chances of recovery are limited. So call your IT professional as soon as you can. They deal with these issues every day and will help you deal with the nightmare.
Cheers for now.