What is a CryptoLocker?

CryptoLocker is a trojan horse virus that encrypts virtually any files associated with an infected system, allowing the threat actors who’ve deployed it to hold them for ransom. It, and other malware like it, is also more commonly known as ransomware.

How to Recognize This Threat: Once files are encrypted, the CryptoLocker virus will display a screen with the desired ransom amount to allow victims who’ve paid to receive an encryption key to regain access to files. This and other ransomware types often enter a system through an email attachment in an infected Microsoft Word .doc file or .pdf.

How to Prevent This Threat: Employees should be trained to avoid clicking on any unknown or unverified attachments. Additionally, the latest next generation firewalls with updated security services including machine learning and sandboxing can help find and prevent these threats. Rules limiting network access to only those who need it can prevent more widespread encryption if one computer is infected. And as with any ransomware, regular backups of network files make it possible to restore your data without requiring an encryption key.