If you have been infected with this virus switch off your computer and disconnect any network cables.
A particulary nasty virus (Trojan) is doing the rounds at the moment. Its infection rate of computers in Ireland is growing.
Before we give you some advice on how to protect your computer let us tell you a bit about this virus.
Cryptolocker is a virus (slthough it is also referred to as ransomware) because it can spread itself across a network to infect other computers, this network can also include computers that share the same broadband router in a home. Once infected the virus encrypts or locks all files on your hard drive the user then has typically 96 hours to pay a ransom of between €100 and €300 to recieve the key to unlock your files after this the key is destroyed and your files are rendered useless. Because of the type of individual you are dealing with there is no guarantee that you will recieve the key if you pay the ransom. Because of the encryption used on the files it is just about impossible to break the encryption.
So how do you protect yourself? There is no 100% guarantee of protection but you can take steps that will make recovery easier if you get infected and some other logical steps that will help ensure you do not get infected.
- Make sure that your antivirus software is up to date. If you dont have an antivirus program installed or have one that is out of date. Please click this link to install the Avast free antivirus. (http://www.avast.com/en-eu/get/Lrh47CXm)
- Practice safe surfing and email habits. Currently the virus is spreading through emails supposedly sent from Fedex and other shipping companies although more and more it is packaged in torrents and picture files that you may download from the internet through your browser.
- If your system has the facility to make recovery disks for your version of windows please make them and keep them safe.
- Back up all you important files to a USB hard drive or USB stick. If you dont have either of these open a free google drive account and store your backup files there.