Cryptolocker virus also known as crypto crimeware or cryptoware is a form of ransomware virus which uses the nasty data encryption techniques to get money from victims. Though it is classified as a ransomware but it is more dangerous than the existing ransomwares. Normal police themed ransomware scares victim into paying money by locking infected computer but cryptolocker virus actually encrypts data on infected PC so cunningly that it is virtually impossible to restore encrypted data no matter how hard a person tries, it is that dangerous.
Police variant ransomwares generally threatens data will be deleted permanently unless fine is paid. On the other hand this cryptolocker virus just does the opposite it encrypts all personal files on the infected computer and set a countdown timer that displays how many hours left to delete the private key necessary to decrypt data. Some forms of crytolocker are capable of not only encrypting personal files but also encrypting files stored in USB, removable hard drive and data stored in cloud. It doesn’t stop there because it is also capable of infecting other computers that are connected to the same network.
Though the danger of losing data lurks high if the victim fails to obtain private key within set time frame but experts say there is no immediate risk because it has been noticed that the countdown clock continues and there are no signs of deletion of data as claimed. It is true that chances of losing data are high but it is also not suggested to give in to the warnings because the money eventually fills the pocket of hackers. Moreover there is no written assurance from the hackers that the data will be decrypted once money is exchange, so it is suggested not to follow the instructions. The hackers generally targets vulnerable computers.
How a system gets infected with malware virus:
Much like any ransomware cryptolocker arrives through spam mails pretending to be from genuine sources like legal enforcement institutions (FBI, department of justice, internet crime complaint center, and ICE cyber crime center to name a few). Spam mails contain links from malware sites hosting cryptolocker virus. The hackers use social engineering techniques to trick victim into opening malicious links. Once the virus gets inside it scans all personal files including documents, spreadsheets and other important files stored in the computer before encrypting them. It may sound surprising that antivirus program can remove crypto Trojan but cannot bring them back to their original format, making it one of the most nasty and cunning virus.
Crypto lock program use backdoor Trojan to get inside of a targeted computer. A backdoor Trojan enables hacker to get remote access of infected computer. When installed it makes it easy for hackers to download, modify, delete, corrupt or spy on the activities of the computer without the knowledge or consent of users.
Why crypto locker is classified as a malware and not virus:
Malware is a program that is designed to cause damage to an infected computer or interfere or cripple the functioning without the knowledge or consent of PC users. This malware also known as crapware may get inside of a computer in a variety of ways. Downloading software, video applications, audio files and other programs from torrent sites is believed to be reason behind ransomware attacks. When a computer runs an outdated operating system or older version of internet browser, it may come under ransomware or cryptoware attack.
Ways to avoid malware attacks:
Best way to avoid policeware or lockware is by installing updated version of antivirus with latest definition. It is also advisable to install antispyware and firewall to stop unwanted programs that automatically get installed onto a computer without the knowledge of PC users. Moreover avoid downloading from unreliable sites. Do not click advertisements that offer free system checkup or claim to increase system speed. Most of these advertisements are in fact malicious programs. In other cases it may appear as genuine system notification or browser plug-in, software patch or extension. Avoid opening unsolicited mails or opening links.
Frequently asked question about cryptlocker malware:
Will cloud storing of data protect my personal files on computer:
Cloud backing of data will not prevent data encryption because the malware is capable of encrypting data stored in external hard devices including USB, removable hard drive.
Will unplugging internet cable remove crytpoTrojan:
Though disable wired network or wifi will not remove the malware but it prevents hacker from modifying the threat. Generally IP based attacks are aggressive when connected to internet.
Is it possible to remove the cryptoware by restarting computer:
Restarting computer is not going to the remove the ransomware threat because the virus gets installed onto startup programs list. So no matter how many times a system is restarted it may not remove the virus.
Does paying ransom remove virus:
It is not suggested to pay fine because there is no guarantee that paying fine may recover encrypted files.
Why did my antivirus program failed to stop this virus from infecting computer:
Ransomware programs use anti analysis techniques to escape antivirus scan. Though antivirus is able to remove the crptolock Trojan but it may not recover decrypted files.
Is crypto lock Trojan same as virus:
Though crypto locker is a virus but it is classified as a Trojan because it cannot spread.
Why it is considered as most cunning and nasty Trojan:
The virus is capable of deleting personal files including spreadsheets, documents and photos stored in an infected computer.
How can a computer become infected with cryptoware:
This Trojan invades a computer when a user opens malicious links coming from compromised websites. This virus also occurs randomly while visiting vulnerable or compromised WebPages and surfing the web, which can mislead users that they have landed on legitimate website. This malicious program enters into a computer without user knowledge and is difficult to remove for most people. This virus may change your browsing history, bookmarks and browser cookies without your permission.
What would crypto virus do to an infected computer:
Virus restricts access to programs running in the computer
Automatically loads malware each time computer is turned on
Keep displaying all your personal files encrypted and demands ransom through moneypak or ukash or bitcoins to obtain personal key necessary to decrypt data.
What happens if cryptolocker removal is delayed:
If a pc user ignores virus infection this virus may attack and infect other machines connected to the same servers.
Does crypto malware encrypt all files stored in a computer:
The virus generally scans for documents, spreadsheets and image files before encrypting.
Can a virus encrypt data files stored on Mac:
This malicious programs targets computers running windows OS but still it is suggested to take enough steps to prevent such malware attacks.
Does system restore prevent data loss:
Though it may recover files related to system but there is nothing that tells system restore prevents recovers encrypted data.
Will cryptolocker infected other machines connected to the same server:
In general this virus can infect all the systems connected to the same server. If there are more than one browser at the beginning the virus occurs on one browser, but the other browser can work normally. Remove virus before it starts encrypting files on other computer.
Is Crypto same as Ransomware:
While ransomware and cryptoware both use social engineering and other scary tactics to get money from victims but crypto is not same as police themed ransomware. Police version ransomwares generally lock an infected computer and display localized police message.On the other hand cryptolock once it gets inside of a computer it starts scanning for documents, spreadsheets and other important files before it starts encrypting them.
While it is possible to unlock a computer and get access to programs infected by ransomware the same thing is not possible with crypto lock because once it starts decrypting personal files stored in an infected computer there is no way to recover scrambled data.
What would US Policeware do to your computer:
Even if an antivirus successfully detects and deletes crypt virus executables it may not recover the already encrypted files. Though paying fine and obtaining private key necessary to decrypt files may appear as a safe option but there is a danger that hackers may modify threat to get more money from victims.
Police ransomware may display illegal activities and possible law violations to get money from victims. Crypto on the hand blocks all programs running in the computer and displays only one page that states “your personal files are encrypted”. Crypto locker screen seems less scary but it causes more damage while police version virus seems more intimidating but it is not as harmful as cryto.
How to remove crypto virus: We recommend you to contact tech support for removing the virus.
Please Read This Before you do anything
We have noticed that many users do not note down our helpline number. They get stuck and can’t get past the removal instructions screen due to virus. To get out of the stuck state, call us at 1-877-623-2121, you will be guided through every step.
Step 1: Press and hold down your power button until the computer turns off. Shut down your computer for 10-15 seconds. Find F8 key on your keyboard.
If for some reason you cannot get Run Box to Load, call us at 1-877-623-2121 for further instructions.
in the Run Box and Press OK to proceed further
note: there is a space after iexplore The default browser will then show a file with the extention .exe. Click Run to save the file and Click Run once again to Run the file. Now wait for the Macrofix Downloader to complete the download.
Step 6:Once the download completes, Macrofix fixkit licensing Agreement window will open, select I Agree and Click Next to proceed further. Wait for the Macrofix fixkit to install. Click Close button once fixkit has been installed.
If for some reason you cannot install the Macrofix fixkit, call us at 1-877-623-2121 for further instructions
Some updated versions of this virus program can stop Macrofix fixkit from installing
Step 7:Now you need to Create Macrofix Account. SpyBurst Anti-Malware will start scanning your computer. But don’t wait until scan finish. Follow below steps for safety.Some updated versions of this virus program can corrupt registry files, so it is recommended to run full registry scan.
in the Macrofix fixkit. Next Click on Scan button and wait for the scan progress to finish. And remove detected Problems.If for some reason you cannot install the Macrofix fixkit, call us at 1-877-623-2121 for further instructions
Some latest versions of this virus encrypt data completely, so it is recommended to backup data on yourcomputer