Virus holds computer files hostage
Published Monday, October 21, 2013 5:12PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:44PM MDT
A nasty computer virus is making the rounds in Calgary and once in your system, holds files for ransom until a fee is paid.
CTV Calgary Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty decided to check it out.
She talked to Kemal Trncic, a tech specialist, who discovered the virus on a client’s computer.
“This is one of the nastiest viruses I have seen,” said Trncic.
The CryptoLocker virus comes attached to a spoof email from a major Canadian bank or courier service.
If you open the attachment or click the link, the virus installs itself and encrypts or locks up your files.
When you try to open a file, a popup appears saying you have 72 hours to pay the $300 ransom or your files will be destroyed.
Trncic installed the virus on a test computer to see what would happen.
He could not unlock the encrypted files and they were destroyed.
"Tracing from that workstation I was working on I was seeing servers from Holland, Japan, Italy, so it's pretty much hosted all over the world right now’” said Trncic.
Trncic says it is impossible to figure out where the bad guys really are.
Lea has a few tips to protect your system from the virus:
- Make sure you have quality, up-to-date, anti-virus software installed on your computer
- Don't open questionable e-mails or their attachments
- Back up your data regularly
Trncic says CryptoLocker does not infect Mac machines unless you use Microsoft Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp, a piece of software allowing Mac owners to use Microsoft Windows.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty)