Cryptolocker is a form of malware that appeared in September 2013. It encrypts all your files, from text documents to videos and photos. You can only retrieve your files upon payment of ransom amounting to $300 or 0.5 bitcoins. This has been one of the most talked ? about developments when it comes to data security. The worst part is, copycats are coming in, as well.
Malware Working on a Large Scale
Criminals have been working on cryptoviruses for decades, but this is the first time they have become successful. Users can protect themselves through simple steps. However, the threat is beginning to spread globally for months. There have been attempts of infecting computers with cryptoviruses for nearly 20 years and this is the first time that one works on a large scale for a long period.
Created by the Brightest Minds
Cryptolocker is a masterpiece of more than one criminal. They are probably getting nearly hundreds of millions in ransoms. But did you know that the concept came from Moti Yung in the mid 1990s? Yung is a cryptography researcher from Columbia University who currently works for tech giant Google. He worked on the idea along with his studymate in his PhD, Adam Young.
The research made by Yung and Young went unnoticed for over 20 years, which was a good thing because everyone was spared from becoming a victim for some time. However, if people have taken the time to pay attention to these two brilliant minds, then a preventive measure could have been implemented. No one would have fallen victim in this ransom ? seeking scheme. Before the Cryptolocker, no one successfully produced a virus or malware that could hostage a user?s file until ransom is paid. It seems that they these criminals have found the perfect bait to earn money.
Backup Your Files
For now, people in cyberspace can protect themselves by not falling into this trap: not doing regular backup. This should be regularly practiced not only to avoid getting victimized by the Cryptolocker, but also to protect users from the dreaded blue screen of death. Offline backups, such as an external hard drive cannot be easily infiltrated by malware. This is the best step one could take to prevent the worst data ? loss with ransom from happening.