There is a particularly destructive piece of malware circulating via email named CryptoLocker. You can read up on it at Sophos Labs Blog by clicking here.
A quick overview –
- CryptoLocker is Ransomware, it is controlled by the miscreants and is required to decrypt the files.
- CryptoLocker will also encrypt files saved on shared drives or connected removable drives (including online services such as dropbox)
- According to the notification, the private key will be deleted if they haven't received payment within a certain period of time.
- The CryptoLocker malware can be removed, but at this time, there is no way to decrypt your files once they have been encrypted.
Basic tips to stay safe using email –
- Keep your operating system and software up-to-date
- Pay attention to links in incoming messages, they may point to malicious sites.
- Do not open an e-mail attachment unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from someone you know. Confirm the attachment is from a trusted source.
- Disconnect backup devices when not creating backups.