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Malware locks your files, then charges for the password

Internet securityMalware can do nasty things to your computer, but the worst scenario is when you lose access to your important files. After all, there is no way to replace the memorable photos or important videos stored on your computer.

One piece of malware understands how important our files are to us, and instead of deleting them, it simply prevents users from accessing them – unless they pay a ransom.

Known as “ransomware”, the computer malware called CryptoLocker will never delete your files, opting instead to encrypt them with a password that you don’t know. To regain access, you’ve got to buy the password from CryptoLocker for no less than $300 – ouch! Of course, for many, that’s a small price to pay to get their precious memories back from oblivion.

To the credit of the creators of CryptoLocker, paying the $300 decryption fee does actually give users access to their files – many other malware creators charge for services they never actually provide.

In fact, it’s usually safe to assume that anything a piece of malware is trying to charge you for is fake, and that it’s simply lying to get your money.

By paying, however, the criminals behind CryptoLocker get more money to continue their exploitation. If people take this course of action, then it proves that crime really does pay.

Sadly, there’s no other way to decrypt the files after CryptoLocker has got hold of them. Therefore if you are infected with Cryptolocker, the $300 fee is the only method of regaining access – even removing the virus won’t give you access to the files. What would you do?

Personally, I’d go back in time and ensure I had a decent back-up solution away from my computer, such as Norman’s online file backup service. Then I could simply recover my files after removing the CryptoLocker infection. This is absolutely the best way to not be held to ransom by CryptoLocker, so I’d recommend looking into it.

If you are infected with CryptoLocker, it’s vital that you don’t move your files to a different location after they have been locked. Otherwise, CryptoLocker will lose track of where the file is, and even paying the $300 won’t fix your files. And there are some suggestions that after you pay by credit card, and after CryptoLocker returns your access to the files, you can contact your credit card company and explain that the payment was forced through extortion, which could get you your money back.

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