PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - The Pensacola Police Department is warning citizens to be aware of a new computer virus
which was first detected in Europe in September, 2013 and has since spread to the United States.
The Pensacola area has recorded its first case of the "CryptoLocker Ransomware” computer
virus on October 29, 2013.
A local business was hit by the virus after an employee opened what she thought was a legitimate file.
In every case, concerning this virus, the attachment containing the virus is an attached .ZIP file. The file itself may have many different names, some of the commonly used names used are, "voice message", “UPS tracking information," or "Resume”.
In each case, opening this .ZIP file will activate the virus and lock you out of your own files. This virus is usually spread by the infected computers through e-mail’s.
When a person's computer becomes infected, the virus will seek out the computer users personal contacts list and e-mail itself to others.
This particular virus is extremely destructive because it securely encrypts all of the computer user’s personal files.
Once these files are encrypted they can only be opened with the use of a " private key”. The Virus program gives the computer user information on how to purchase the Private Key over the internet by wiring money to an account.
The amount of money required varies between $100 to $300.
This virus is easily detected by commercially available virus protection software.
The best way to protect your data from this virus is to not open attachments from suspicious e-mails. Keep
important data backed up to a DVD or external hard drive.
Once this virus infects your computer the files that get encrypted cannot be recovered without the private key. Make sure you keep your virus definitions updated.
Please report any infections to www.ic3.gov .
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