A nasty computer virus continues to make the rounds. The virus literally holds your files hostage until you hand over a ransom.
“This is the ugliest things I’ve ever seen and I’ve been in computers since 1995,” Kathryn a Utah computer specialist tells KSL-TV.
The malicious malware is called cryptolocker and disguises itself as an email from legitimate looking businesses. Here’s how it works: first it locks you out of your personal files, anything from photos, to music to your spreadsheets, all by encrypting the files. After that a box pops up with your instructions, telling you your files can be recovered only in you pay the ransom, usually hundreds of dollars. The crooks even give you a deadline, in most cases 72 to wire the funds or kiss those photos goodbye.
“This is a game changer. This is going to change viruses, this is going to change malware,” says Kathryn.
The crooks want payment in the digital currency bitcoin, an unregulated and anonymous currency that can’t be traced or through wire transfers.
The virus is elaborate and often times the only thing you can do if you want to save those files is pay the ransom. Computer specialists like Kathryn suggest ignoring any unknown links and backing up your data as often as you can.