Defending Against Cryptolocker
  • Defending Against Cryptolocker
    Defending Against Cryptolocker

    How To Defend Against Cryptolocker

    Cryptolocker is just as creepy as its name sounds. This phishing scam encrypts data from your system and holds it ransom until you transfer money to the criminals behind it. And even when people do pay, they often don’t get their files back.

    An earlier version of Cryptolocker was demolished in 2014 but a new version has recently emerged.

    How can you protect your company’s network from Cryptolocker? Establish protocols, update your security system, and make sure you have a strong backup system in place.

    First, let’s take a look at how Cryptolocker gets inside your network.

    How Does Cryptolocker Work?

    The Cryptolocker malware is quick, streamlined, and nefarious.

    • The criminals behind Cryptolocker will use recognizable corporate names like Amazon and send phony delivery slips and invoices via email. Opening an attachment from these emails allows the malware to infiltrate local hard drives and mapped network drives.
    • The malware then contacts a server run by its senders. The systems exchange information and the encryption begins. Cryptolocker can encrypt every file it finds.
    • To inform the user of the virus, the malware presents a screen that tells you how much money it wants (usually anywhere from $300 to $500, accepted in bitcoin or another untraceable currency) to decrypt your files by a specific deadline.


    Some companies and individuals that have chosen to pay the ransom never got their decrypted files. The best protection from Cryptolocker is prevention.

    How to Protect Your Network from Cryptolocker

    Having a solid security system in place is critical. Having staff protocols in place is priceless.

    Behind the scenes:

    • Make sure your antivirus software is updated. Although some experts say that antivirus is no match for Cryptolocker
    • Update your security system on time
    • Install intrusion prevention systems
    • Implement the 3, 2, 1 backup rule – Keep three copies of every important file: one original, one stored on another type of media and one stored offsite
    • Consider blocking attachments


    In the office:

    • Insist on safe computing practices – make security a priority and get buy-in from your team
    • Make sure employees know to never click a link or open an attachment from an unfamiliar or suspicious source—and to notify IT immediately if they encounter anything questionable
    • Encourage employees to increase their web browser security settings

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