'CryptoLocker' computer virus demands ransom for files - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'CryptoLocker' computer virus demands ransom for files

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's targeting businesses and making it impossible to access  files -- it's called CryptoLocker.

CryptoLocker is a computer virus that quietly installs and encrypts files, which makes it harder to access them, but there's a catch -- in order for you to access these files you must pay up or lose it forever.

Computer Expert Jamie Mellis says the instructions are specific. A message says there's a private key on a secret server on the internet that will allow you to restore your files as long as you pay up by the deadline with an untraceable credit card.

"It's targeting businesses. It also goes after things like music files and pictures as well," Mellis said.

If those files are infected by the virus it can be devastating especially if you don't have them saved anywhere else.

Mellis said he encounters people on a daily basis with absolutely no backups and unfortunately in many cases there's nothing he can do to recover the files.

The CryptoLocker virus is spreading through phony FedEx and UPS tracking notifications and other emails pretending to come from legitimate businesses.

Those who have paid the ransom, typically $300, report their files are decrypted within a few hours. Those who didn't, have had to wipe their hard drives clean and restore them before they were usable again.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All Rights Reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • The sale of collector ornaments help beautify Moultrie

    The sale of collector ornaments help beautify Moultrie

    Thursday, December 14 2017 12:11 PM EST2017-12-14 17:11:31 GMT
    100 traditional canopy lights were found, and made into ornaments. They are sold out. (Source: WALB)100 traditional canopy lights were found, and made into ornaments. They are sold out. (Source: WALB)

    The coveted canopy of light ornaments that made up Moultrie's beautiful downtown light display sold out last year! 

    More >>

    The coveted canopy of light ornaments that made up Moultrie's beautiful downtown light display sold out last year! 

    More >>
  • Wild Adventures to celebrate the holidays

    Wild Adventures to celebrate the holidays

    Thursday, December 14 2017 12:06 PM EST2017-12-14 17:06:53 GMT
    Guests can meet both Santa and Mrs. Claus (Source: WALB)Guests can meet both Santa and Mrs. Claus (Source: WALB)

    Wild Adventures is celebrating the holidays with its annual "Wild Adventures Christmas." The festivities will continue on Saturday, December 16, and run through the 31st. 

    More >>

    Wild Adventures is celebrating the holidays with its annual "Wild Adventures Christmas." The festivities will continue on Saturday, December 16, and run through the 31st. 

    More >>
  • Convicted molester to be sentenced Tuesday

    Convicted molester to be sentenced Tuesday

    Thursday, December 14 2017 12:04 PM EST2017-12-14 17:04:50 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    A Lanier County man faces up to a half-century in prison after his conviction Wednesday for sex crimes against minors, according to the district attorney.

    More >>

    A Lanier County man faces up to a half-century in prison after his conviction Wednesday for sex crimes against minors, according to the district attorney.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly