Is everyone aware of the CryptoLocker Ransomware virus? It's been high-profile News around the Internet but maybe some aren't aware of it. If unlucky enough to be tricked into installing this, all the files on the computer, including those held on other connected drives, will become encrypted and therefore unusable/inaccessible. Files stored on disks or drives that are disconnected
when not in use will not be affected. I 'd guess that means providing they are not reconnected while the computer still has the virus.
The virus can be removed (although I'd reinstall the OS myself) but this will not restore your encrypted files. These become permanently lost unless you pay a ransom within a certain number of days and before removing the infection. When time is up, the developers of this virus destroy the decryption key and that's that. Files should always be backed up of course but perhaps this is another good reason for not putting the job off. Once done, keep the back-up drive disconnected as a precaution.
Dropbox folders can be affected but other than that, I think files in Cloud storage might be safe. I thought I should post about this because of the mention of Cloud storage and Dropbox in Sue's 'Beware of the cloud!
I don't know how at risk we are of getting this virus since it is aimed at companies that cannot afford to lose their files and are therefore more likely to pay the ransom. That said, there have been cases of infection and it's best to be aware of the virus at least.
A typical way of getting the virus is the good old e-mail attachment and I think most of us know to be careful of those anyway. The virus may arrive as a PDF file attachment that seems legitimate. However, it isn't a .PDF. What the file extension really is: '.PDF.EXE' but since Windows hides file extensions by default, you don't see the '.EXE' part. So you click on what seems
like a PDF file and the computer is infected. There maybe attack vectors other than e-mail attachments that I'm unaware of at this time.
More can be read about this virus than I can write but maybe this post will make people aware and consider reading further about it. An Internet search will bring up much information.Edit:
Only a typo.