WCC wishes to warn everyone about a particular malware that is becoming more widespread and could greatly impact computers both on campus and at home. We have forwarded the detailed warning received from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team about this particular malware (also called ransomware).
It’s a fairly long article but you DO need to read it. In a nutshell, this malware usually arrives as an attached file or a link in an email message and may look like an email from UPS or Fed Ex containing tracking info for a package. If you open one of the infected attachments or click on a link in one of the fake email messages this malware called “CryptoLocker” can encrypt not only the files stored on your computer but also files on any flash drive or external hard drive that your computer has access to making those files inaccessible. Once encrypted, the only way to recover your files is to pay a $300.00 “ransom” using a credit card to get the key to unencrypt your files.
Always consider whether any email messages you receive are legitimate before opening attachments or following links contained within those messages. Also make sure that you have antivirus software on your computer and that it has not expired.
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