Crypto Locker Virus

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Snopes says it's true. Ransomware.  ???

Anyone run into this virus?

NO But if I do I will be calling you for a loan.... scary stuff thanks for the heads up

There have been articles about this circling around last week.  This is why I keep a full OS/app image of my hard drive and update it every two months...

Allen Carter:
This type of thing has been around a couple of years, but just lately in the news.

$300 is pretty cheap if you have a lot of important data that's not backed up. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if a next generation of this bug will report back the number and type of files encrypted before the ransom amount is set. The ownership and type of data may be factored in, too. Just a few of the things we've been thinking about. The whole ransom gig is going to keep getting bigger.

That said, in most cases, if you're doing the things you are supposed to be doing to manage malware risk (AV software, data backup, avoidance of stupid clicking), Cryptolocker isn't worse than a lot of other bugs. I'd rather get this than some stealthy bug that uses my system to distribute kiddie porn or something. Finding out someone has been using your machine to do something heinous for a year is a drag.

An OS/App image is the opposite of what you need in this case. Removing the Cryptolocker malware is easy. Don't remove it until you decrypt your files, though! File backup is what's needed, and not a synchronization utility. Something that backs up to a remote store and writes the data into an archive rather than in the original file format. Files on mounted external drive, network share or USB stick will get encrypted, so you need to either move the files off line or into some other format, like a backup archive. I like Crashplan for this. Something like this can backup throughout the day, even if it's just to a USB drive. That way your volume of unprotected data is always small.

The HW/OS image is in addition to two offsite data file backups rotated to a bank safety deposit box.  In case of a catastrophic machine/OS/data loss, the OS/app image will restore a machine to working order and eliminate any nasties.  Then my files can be restored (to a separate partition).  A bit anal and takes time to setup but hard to lose everything.  I've been doing IT support in various forms for three decades now and have noted two types of computer users - those who have lost data and those who will. Many if not most computer users have all their files on one computer with little protection and no backup making them easy targets.

General rules:

- Keep your OS and apps patched and current.
- Install malware and keep it current.
- Backup your user files offlline and verify the contents on another known good computer.
- Multiple rotated offline backups are best.
- Don't click on stupid things....


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