Cryptolocker is a ransomware trojan that can infect your computers through attachments or phishing. It may be attached to email messages that appear to be harmless and from legitimate companies. The attachments appear to be simple .pdf or .docs but they have a hidden virus. When opened this virus will encrypt everything from network drives, documents in the cloud, and local hard drives including documents and pictures.
When a computer is infected it will display a warning stating that your information will be destroyed if you do not pay a ransom to get the key to unlock the encrypted files. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that the files will be unlocked.
In the news recently is the case of a Russian man arrested for attempting to pay an employee at Tesla 1 million dollars to plant ransomware into their network. This is very unusual.
You can avoid this type of malware by always using the Internet safely. Never open an attachment from an unknown source. Confirm that your emails are from a reputable source by checking the “from” email address. Never click on attachments unless you are 100% sure that it is safe. If you have a questionable email, call the sender to verify the attachment is legitimate.
If you are attacked by Cryptolocker malware, Microsoft has some tips on how to recover from a ransomware attack in Microsoft 365. Those tips are here
This blog also has a great article on how to recover from an attack and get your systems back online.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to back up your files periodically so they can be restored if an attack does occur.
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