Antivirus companies have uncovered a new piece of ransomware called Cryptolocker, which has emerged on the internet within the last month.
Ransomware is a particularly sinister brand of malware which is designed to hold your computer hostage by making it inaccessible until a certain amount of money is paid. In the case of the newly-discovered malware Cryptolocker, the program is designed to lock files on an infected computer by encrypting them. Unfortunate victims of this malware are told to pay a ransom of $300 within a certain amount of time, in exchange for a key which can be used to unencrypt their files.
Cryptolocker is being recognised as an especially nasty piece of ransomware because it puts users at serious risk of losing important files on their computers. Victims who do not pay the malware’s ransom within the given amount of time may lose their files as their personal encryption key will be destroyed by the cybercriminals.
At present it may not be possible for all encrypted data to be recovered without paying the ransom fee, so users are encouraged to be as careful as possible with their downloads, and to ensure that they have an updated anti-Malware program on their computers.