Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Apple/Mac
Fiercely productive scanners
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
CryptoLocker Ransomware Spreading Rapidly
CryptoLocker Ransomware Spreading Rapidly

By Jennifer LeClaire
November 4, 2013 12:25PM

    Bookmark and Share
If you are especially worried about CryptoLocker ransomware, the best thing you can do, aside from not getting infected, is to create hard backups of important files. It's also important to keep antivirus software up to date. Many CryptoLocker ransomware infections are happening to computers that were already infected with another malware.
 



Security firms started sounding the alarm earlier this year, but this nefarious cyber nemesis has only picked up momentum. CryptoLocker is spreading its ransomware wings and finding plenty of victims in its path.

But let’s take a step back. What is CryptoLocker? According to AppRiver, CryptoLocker belongs to a type of malware known as ransomware. If a victim is infected, the malware encrypts all files containing certain extensions with a locally stored 2048-bit RSA key and then again asymmetrically with a 256-bit AES encryption key it gets from its command-and-control server.

Once the encryption is completed, the malware displays a pop-up notice demanding the victim pay a ransom for the blocked files he is trying to view. The cost to unlock the files: $300 -- and there’s a time limit of about 100 hours to pay up.

Rapidly Spreading Ransomware

In the last 30 days, AppRiver’s spam filters quarantined 56.6 million e-mails that contained a virus as an attachment. And CryptoLocker is still the biggest piece of malware being trapped. This rate is an increase, for the fourth consecutive month, and is the highest total seen since March of 2012.

Troy Gill, senior security analyst of AppRiver, told us given the key arrests that were made involving the author of the Blackhole Toolkit -- and given the fact that its use was the most widespread -- its natural to assume that there’d be a decrease in malware. But that’s not been the case.

“Instead our intelligence confirms that the criminals that were using it simply jumped ship and moved on to a toolkit by the name of Magnitude and, very quickly, it was business as usual for them. It seems malware authors have major problems when it comes to customer loyalty,” Gill said.

Are You Backed Up?

Unlike some other forms of ransomware, CryptoLocker actually does encrypt the victim’s PC until payment is made. So far, Gill said, reports have stated that those who pay the ransom do in fact receive the promised encryption key and are returned access to their important files -- although there have also been multiple reports of those who have paid and have not received the keys.

“If you are especially worried about CryptoLocker, or if you know someone who is prone to infection, the best thing you can do, aside from not getting infected, is to create hard backups of important files,” Gill said. “This way if you become infected you can simply wipe your machine and start fresh. Without a plan B, you will be left with a difficult decision of either paying the attackers or losing your files.”

Indeed, Tom Cross, Lancope director of security research, said the unfortunate reality is that as far as we know at this time, files encrypted by CryptoLocker are as good as gone.

“Having a good backup solution is the key to protecting yourself against an attack like this, so that you can restore your computer to a state before it was infected,” he said. “It's also important to keep antivirus software up to date. Many CryptoLocker infections are happening to computers that were already infected with another malware. A recent study by Microsoft concluded that you are five times more likely to be infected with malware if you aren't using anti-virus software.”
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

CryptoLocker News Channel:

Posted: 2013-11-28 @ 3:50pm PT
Wow this is crazy! I've dedicated my time to follow CryptoLocker.
youtube.com/CryptoLocker



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Apple/Mac
1.   Phones Annoy Patent Trial Judge
2.   Apple vs. Samsung: Latest News
3.   Hey Siri, Can You Hear Me Now?
4.   Finding Apple-Samsung Jury Hard
5.   5.5-inch iPhone 6 Rumored


advertisement
Phones Annoy Patent Trial Judge
Disrupting Apple-Samsung proceedings.
Average Rating:
Finding Apple-Samsung Jury Hard
Locals have strong opinions on case.
Average Rating:
Kill Switch Could Save Users $2.6B
Carriers, however, are not impressed.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.