FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF
October 28, 2013
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has received information regarding a virus called CRYPTOLOCKER, which encrypts any and all files on a hard drive, thumb drives, network user folders, or network mapped directories, rendering your data useless. The virus has hit local businesses. This virus is a form of ransomware. Ransonware involves a virus taking over your computer files encrypting them making them inaccessible. Ramsonware is being passed along through spoofed emails, botnets, or unwitting web pages. Emails have contained a zip file attachment, which, when opened, can encrypt your files. After doing so, it opens a window, red in color, that informs you that you have 72 hours to send $300 to the source of the virus, which will then decrypt the files for you.
According to an article put out by Sophos, an Antivirus software company, this particular virus was very well prepared, as they haven’t been able to locate any backdoors or trapdoors in their virus, so the damage, at this point, seems to be irreversible.
We would not recommend that anyone actually pay the ransom demands. Even if your files were decrypted by this unknown source, this doesn’t mean that they will remove the actual virus, or ransomware. It could still remain in your system. It could actually require reformatting your computer system and restore your date from backup systems.
PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR EMAIL CAREFULLY. IF IT IS NOT FROM SOMEONE YOU KNOW, OR WERE EXPECTING SOMETHING FROM, DELETE IT. NEVER OPEN AN ATTACHMENT UNLESS YOU KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM.
Attached is a link to a website where the Sheriff’s Office obtained some useful information about this particular type of virus.