If you read our Computer Corner blog regularly, then you probably read about the Crypto Locker virus in our post on 11/1/2013, Crypto Locker: A New Kind of Virus. This new virus actually encrypts your files so that even after cleaning the virus, your files are still corrupt and unusable. The only way to unencrypt them is to pay a ransom and often that did not even work.
Many users around the world and many of our customers became Crypto Locker victims. If the customer had no backups then our best advice to them was to pay the ransom, usually $300, and hope for the best. If they had a recent backup then we could simply reinstall the computer and restore their files. Yet ANOTHER reason to be sure you have an automated and monitored backup system in place!
Today brings some good news to those who have been ripped off by this virus and the crook who wrote it. According to USA Today, he has been arrested. Read more here: Federal agents knock down Zeus Botnet, CryptoLocker.
Unfortunately, there are many more people like this are out there trying to dupe you into loading their viruses and get your money so be sure you take your computer security seriously. Here is a good place to start: Computer Resolutions for the New Year.