News - Virus News
Sunday, 29 December 2013 12:07

Many of you may have seen the recent article in the English newspapers about a "new" ransomware that has currently infected 250,000 computers worldwide. This horrible infection encrypts your data and demands a ransom to release your files. The main questions we would like to answer are: Does my anti-virus software protect me from this infection? What can I do to protect myself? and What can I do if my machine becomes infected?


Does my anti-virus software protect me from this virus?

Cryptolocker doesn't infect your machine all by itself, it occurs when you open an email attachment containing a trojan. No anti-virus program will effectively protect you 100% from this type of problem.

The people who create these infectious programs spend as much time creating them as the developers at anti-virus companies spend tracking and curing them. Safe today doesn't mean safe tomorrow as the infection developers work tirelessly to infect as many machines as possible and change the makeup of an infection on a daily basis.


What can I do to protect myself from this virus?

1. Don't be curious. Don't open attachments that you aren't expecting or that are unusual.

For example, if you receive an email purporting to be from a delivery company saying that they are trying to deliver a package to you and asking you to open the attached PDF or ZIP file to view a delivery note don't do it, it is not genuine.  Similarly, your bank will not send a PDF or ZIP file to you unless you have specifically requested them to do so.

Delete, delete, delete. If it is important, the sender can and will send it again. At the very least you can call them and ask if they intended to send something to you.

2. Buy an external backup device and use it, remember the backup is only as good as the last time you used it. Back up your data regularly to your external device and remember to disconnect it once the backup is complete. This particular virus will encrypt data on ANY drive connected to your PC, that includes USB drives and network servers.  Alien Technologies have a wide range of external backup devices available including basic USB pen drives and DVDs for small amounts of data, external hard drives  and NAS boxes/servers for larger amounts and full system backups.

What can I do if I get this virus?

There is no recovery from cryptolocker. While you can stop the viral process on your PC, the files (data) that it encrypted stay encrypted even when the virus is removed from your system. If your data is vitally important you may decide to pay the people who created this virus to release your data however if you then go on to remove this virus your data will be re-encrypted.


Computer security and the integrity of your data starts with you. Layered security, safe browsing, good email habits and the secure backing up your data saves the day every time.


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