Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Trojan Horse Ransomware: The CryptoLocker Virus

Cryptocurrency, an internet-based form of money, has skyrocketed in popularity and value over the past several years. Because of this, it’s no surprise that new cyber threats targeting this digital currency have begun to emerge. There are many types of crypto attacks, most of which aim to compromise your computer and use it to generate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ZCash.

A new crypto malware, called CryptoLocker, has recently surfaced. However, instead of using your device to create cryptocurrency, this virus encrypts your data in an attempt to damage your business and steal from you directly. Luckily, while the CryptoLocker virus is a fairly sophisticated attack, it’s easy to guard against if you know what to look for. Remaining up-to-date on cybersecurity best practices can also help you avoid a run-in with this malware.

Let’s take a closer look at the CryptoLocker Virus, and how you can protect yourself against it.

What Is CryptoLocker?

CryptoLocker is a Trojan horse ransomware that’s proven very effective for hackers looking to make money off of online victims. The purpose of a Trojan horse virus is to infiltrate your machine and run in the background, where it will often go unnoticed. While it runs, it will encrypt all of your files and eventually lock you out of your system. Then, the virus will typically show you a ransom request that you must pay to regain access to your data.

The effects of this type of virus are quite severe and can cause significant harm to small businesses. And because it can be tricky to guard against damages once you’ve picked up the virus, the best defense is a proactive security approach. Luckily, these viruses can be detected early, and there are a variety of strategies you can employ to make sure your devices are safe. If you do think your computer is infected, it’s best to hire an expert to remove it immediately.

Ways to Guard Against this Type of Ransomware

First, it’s important to keep in mind that CryptoLocker only works because you need access to your data. Therefore, if you perform regular backups, you won’t need to pay a ransom to retrieve these files. You’ll already possess a copy that hasn’t been compromised or encrypted.

The next thing you must be aware of is that this type of virus has to be downloaded in order to affect your device. Simply opening an infected email or visiting a malicious website won’t launch the attack. Rather, infection occurs as soon as you choose to download a compromised file. In most cases, these are .exe files that download in the background. However, they can be masked so that you think you’re downloading a harmless document. With this in mind, it’s best to avoid downloading anything unless you’re 100 percent sure that the source is trustworthy.

To further protect yourself from crypto malware, you should invest in a high-quality antivirus program for all of your business’s devices. Then, you must keep this program updated and run it regularly in order to detect any viruses early on. Keeping a backup of all of your files is also a best practice, as it will help you avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack out of desperation. Consider keeping a backup on both the cloud and an external drive, which won’t be accessible to any virus as long as it’s not attached to the infected machine.

Finally, the last (and perhaps most important) step is to ensure that everyone in your network follows a strict security protocol. Just one misstep by an unsuspecting employee or family member can prove disastrous. Therefore, it’s crucial to educate everyone within your business or household about the dangers of viruses like CryptoLocker and teach them how to stay safe online.

Looking for Computer Virus Removal in Richmond, VA?

If you need effective computer repair services in Richmond, NerdsToGo can help. Our experienced staff can explain all of the latest cyber threats, assess the health of your devices, and remedy any damage. We can also help you develop a robust IT plan that will protect you from a variety of viruses and malware going forward.

Whether you use your computer for personal or business reasons, all of your information must be protected. As one of the best computer repair shops, NerdsToGo is here to help you secure your personal and business data. We offer a variety of computer services, including offsite data management, computer virus removal, remote data backup, and more. Plus, we can help you install cybersecurity patches that add another layer of protection to your devices.

For more information about our expert computer services in Richmond, VA, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!