Winter is here...and the gremlins are behind every christmas tree!

As we come into the winter months, its an accepted fact that surfing and general pc use increases as hibernation kicks in.

So what gremlins are abound?
 The 'Cryptolocker is the main threat to users files and is proving to be a nasty piece of work so I will attempt to summaries for you;

Put simply, a user may receive an email (possibly from HMRC or other Government organization) with a link suggesting they click on here to receive payments, change details and so on.

Once click upon, the virus is silently downloaded onto your pc and begins it's work. It encrypts all of your files (photos, documents and so on) and gives you an ultimatum;

"Pay up or in n hours the key to unlock your files will be destroyed"

Without getting over-technical, the files are encrypted with a 'key' that is stored elsewhere on a server - once you have handed over the money, they supply you with the key and you can unlock your files

As it stands, most who have paid, do get their files back, after all, it would be a short 'business plan' that doesn't deliver!

Agencies are trying to rid the world of the virus but the irony is that in shutting down traced servers, they are removing the keys and so the chance for some infected users to get their files back is lost!

"HELP! What do I do to avoid it?"
  • DONT click on any links in ANY emails - even if you know the sender of the email, it's quite possible that they have been infected and the address book has been compromised.
  • Ensure your Antivirus is up to date
  • Keep an 'offline' backup of your files - use an external drive or similar to backup all your files and keep it disconnected. The virus will go through any drives, network shares or similar so keep the data seperate.
 As of this date, no definite unlocking is available without paying up and the costs vary (they started at about £200 but £534 has been reported as well as many other figures.
To read more about this click here 

If you have any other questions or worries, contact me and I can help. 

In the meantime, safe surfing!