What is it?
This latest version of Ransomware was identified in Sept 2013, and is malware that encrypts the contents of your computer using strong cryptography, like AES or RSA encryption. This encryption basically makes it next to impossible to get your files back without the decryption codes. And, If the infected PC is a client in a local network that share files and folders, the shared resources will be encrypted first.
How it works?
Victims have reported that it usually starts with an email that looks official from UPS or FedEx, making it sound like it’s related to tracking a package you’re sending or receiving. Usually the email will have a .zip archive attached to it, that when unzipped will reveal a double extension file, ie, pdf.exe. The file will open in Adobe Reader but at the same time a Windows executable file will launch on the users machine, which is the CryptoLocker malware and encrypts your files. The solution to decrypt your files is to pay the makers of the program for the key to your files, very costly and not recommended.
Why Should I Care?
Bottom line is downtime and that costs companies hard dollars. How much time can you afford to be without those files? What does it cost in lost productivity with an outbreak on your system? What about lost customers, lost business, or lost confidence from customers, partners and employees. Every employee should safeguard critical company data and take measures to eliminate malware outbreaks.
What Can I do for Protection?
Don’t open email attachments you don’t trust 100%, don’t open double extension files such as pdf.exe. Make sure you have regular system backups for both files and OS, (like entire disk partitions or Cloud in addition to local disks), that are tested and working properly. Notify your IT support provider first if you suspect something is not right. Make sure you have an industrial grade AV/Malware program installed and updated weekly, the bad guys move quickly so should your AV/Malware. And lastly, make sure you have a trusted partner for IT support that doesn’t profit from an outbreak.