Sheriff Jay Russell would like to warn citizens of a computer malware program that is locking user’s files.
The CryptoLocker Ransomware computer infection is a type of malware that is being spread through fake emails disguised as legitimate correspondence from companies such as UPS, FedEX, DHL and more. The emails usually have what appears to be a PDF file attachment. When users try to open the attachment the program installs on their computer in the background. Once the program is on the computer, it uses a very secure encryption that locks all of the files and documents the user has access to on the computer or computer network including any connected USB drives and external hard drives.
Once the program has the files locked it states you must pay money online to receive the password to unlock the files. It has been reported by affected users online that even after paying the ransom money for the password, they never receive it.
Tips to Prevent Infection:
• Backup your files to an external source such as a USB or external hard drive and unplug from computer
• Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date
• Keep your operating system (ie. Windows) up-to-date
• Do not open attachments or web links in emails you are unsure of
If you become a victim of this computer infection, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) requests you file a complaint form on their website at www.ic3.gov.