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Crucial Information about a Ransomware Called CryptoLocker

IT security is a critical topic that many businesses do not take seriously, often resulting in devastating consequences. When the CryptoLocker ransomware began wreaking havoc for internet users in late 2013, many companies belatedly realized that their failure to subscribe to essential managed IT services had been a huge mistake. While the first run of CryptoLocker has been stopped, numerous variants continue to emerge. These infections are causing millions of dollars in damages to victims that have had their systems encrypted. Cryptolocker protection, and protection from catastrophic loss from similar harmful programs, requires having the best IT support and solutions available at all times.

What is CryptoLocker

CryptoLocker was a trojan that affected Microsoft Windows systems beginning in September 2013, by completely encrypting a computer’s files then demanding payment for a decryption key. The ransomware program is spread by infected emails or visiting the wrong website. Infection is more likely when such usage originates from unpatched, non-updated software such as Flash or Java.

A message is sent to the infected website that money be sent within 72 hours or the key would be destroyed. After three days, affected users had to pay ten times the original requested amount as ransom. Paying the ransom actually was not always successful; the people responsible for this sometimes took the money and never provided the promised key.

The only reason the initial CryptoLocker version was stopped was because law enforcement was able to locate the offsite servers and shut them down. In total, by the time the trojan was isolated and a decryption tool made available to the public thanks to the efforts of law enforcement, the developers were estimated to have collected over $3 million in ransom from their victims.

Ransomware programs similar to CryptoLocker as well as variations of the original continue to affect users the same way; the different versions come from different servers that have not yet proven to be traceable. CryptoLocker was an extreme case, as it took nearly a year for law enforcement and security organizations to isolate it and create the decryption tool. As noted above, variants of this original program continue to surface and likewise continue to cause problems with unsuspecting business and individual websites.

Why Ransomware is So Dangerous

The point of these malicious programs is to demand money for files that computer users, especially businesses, cannot function without. Waiting for a way to get valuable data back is not always feasible, so many are inclined to just pay the ransom. Without data records and business information available to them, most business operations would be catastrophically affected. Getting data back in whatever way possible, even at exorbitant costs, is a necessity and not an option.

There can be lasting repercussions as well, since the loss of sensitive information can destroy a company’s reputation. A ransom trojan has the ability to bring an entire company to their knees in mere moments.

preventing and Rebounding from Malicious Attacks

The essential key to not becoming victim to ransomware is to prevent it by having the most current, advanced firewall and security applications. Another critical part of total system protection is having a plan for system restoration in the event an infection does happen. The most reliable way to get both of these things is by working with an experienced IT support and solutions provider. The reasons for this are two-fold, as adequate protection requires consistently being informed about any current malicious programs and their repairs, while disaster recovery requires regular backup IT services and reliable restoration capabilities.

All businesses need protection from Cryptolocker and other ransomware and damaging software. Trojans and malicious programs are a leading cause of information loss, costing a business countless amounts in lost productivity and even lost sales. Although CryptoLocker is an extreme case of ransomware, its many ongoing variations should serve as fair warning to companies everywhere. This type of loss only requires downloading the wrong email or browsing on the wrong site. The best and least expensive protection is to hire the right managed IT services company that will ensure that every effort is done to provide the best IT security against such malicious software!

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Burlington, Ontario
L7N 2G3