The threat of the year: Cryptolocker
It seems that its time to announce the threat of the year! Virus that can be found in almost every security forum or a virus-related website is Cryptolocker. According to the data of the last 14 months, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complain Center (IC3) received 992 Cryptolocker-related complaints from affected companies and PC users. According to these complaints, victims lost over $18 million. While it hasn’t been announced about the losses that were caused by other variants of this ransomware, like Cryptowall or CTB Locker, we can imagine that the numbers are very close.
What has been causing such huge losses? It seems that the main reason of such tendency is that Cryptolocker is capable of affecting both, businesses and home users. Just like CryptoWall, CTB Locker and other crypto-ransomwares, it encrypts each of victim’s files and then asks to pay a ransom. Typically, it demands ransoms from $200 to $10,000 to give people an ability to restore their files. Besides, if the target is a huge company, the loss includes not only the ransom. We should also think about the costs associated with the loss of employee’s productivity, fees for IT services, network mitigation, network countermeasures, etc. The most important thing is that you need to pay the fine in order to get the key for encrypting your files. You can’t guess it and you can hardly apply one of these tools that are promoted as file recovery tools. Failing to pay the fine puts you at the risk of losing your files because attackers claim that they will destroy the private key unless you pay the ransom.
Obviously, families and companies should educate their people to help them identify social engineering and malicious email attachments. The main thing that has to be remembered by those who want to prevent infiltration of Cryptolocker is that they should be really careful with every email from unknown sender. In addition, they should stay away from suspicious advertisements that look too good to be true. Finally, infected websites or websites that are filled with adult content should be avoided and never visited.
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