Recovering Your Computer from Crypto Locker Virus
If you think your computer may have been infected with the Crypto Locker virus or you need help setting up or verifying your automated data backups to protect your files, call Preactive IT Solutions at 832-944-6250.
Crypto Locker is a new breed of computer virus. It infects your computer when you open an infected email attachment or you visit an infected web site. Though the number of infections are down 31% due to recent Department of Justice Reports of victory, you need not ignore this threat and other serious viruses that threaten PC.
How Crypto Locker Works
There is nothing new about the way this virus gets on your computer. What makes Crypto Locker different is that once it infects your computer, it uses a unique security key to encrypt all of your documents.
This means that all your pictures, documents, spread sheets and many other files appear to be corrupted. Crypto Locker then displays a message on the screen giving you some number of hours in which to pay them $100 to $300, depending on the version you are infected with, to un-encrypt your files. If you do not pay them before the timer runs out, the unique security key will be deleted and your files will forever be encrypted and of no use to you.
Cleaning the Crypto Locker virus off of your computer is no more of a task than cleaning others like the FBI or ICE viruses.
The antivirus technicians at Preactive IT Solutions clean viruses every day. This is what we do. From our 10+ years of daily virus cleaning, we have developed a proprietary virus removal process using several different utilities that will successfully remove just about any virus you might get your computer infected with.
The problem is that removing Crypto Locker is the easy part. If you remove it, your files are still encrypted and unreadable.
Crypto Locker Recovery
With a Recent Backup:
- Restore your files to an uninfected computer and verify that they are not encrypted
- Have a professional computer repair technician - not your nephew or the computer guy at work - clean the virus thoroughly
- You can skip the cleaning and just reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows, but this will require installing and configuring all your programs as if you had a new computer
- Restore your files from backup
Without a Backup:
- Pay the ransom, but use a prepaid credit card to do so. This is a gamble, but may be your easiest choice. Many people have reported that this unencrypted their files. Many reported that it did not
- Clean the virus, but as noted above, get a professional Houston Antivirus company to do this.
- If paying the ransom did not get your files back, contact Preactive IT Solutions. We may be able to recover some or all of them from Volume Shadow copies on your computer.
Preventing Crypto Locker
There are several things you can do to prevent losing your files to Crypto Locker.
- Run a good Anti Virus software. Not Norton, AVG, McAfee, etc. The best anti-virus software is either Kaspersky or Trend Micro Titanium. These two are tied for number one.
- Configure DNS service on your router from OpenDNS.com
- Do not use an administrator account on your computer to do email and web surfing. Setup a limited user to work in.