'CryptoLocker' computer virus demands ransom for files - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'CryptoLocker' computer virus demands ransom for files

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Animal Services director on administrative leave

    Animal Services director on administrative leave

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:17:32 GMT
    To either keep or fire Carol Wicks as Director of Animal Services will be a decision made by the city council. If it comes to that, it would be put on a Decatur City Council meeting agenda for further review.So far, it is not on the agenda for their next meeting on Sep 2. If the issue comes before the city council, that's when we hope to find out why Mayor Kyle decided to put Wicks on paid administrative leave.He will not comment on it, saying he cannot talk about a pending personnel issue. W...More >>
    To either keep or fire Carol Wicks as Director of Animal Services will be a decision made by the city council. If it comes to that, it would be put on a Decatur City Council meeting agenda for further review.So far, it is not on the agenda for their next meeting on Sep 2. If the issue comes before the city council, that's when we hope to find out why Mayor Kyle decided to put Wicks on paid administrative leave.He will not comment on it, saying he cannot talk about a pending personnel issue. W...More >>
  • Safety programs effective in curbing DUI, say officials

    Safety programs effective in curbing DUI, say officials

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:59:02 GMT
    Safety officials say slogans like "Click it or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," and their respective law enforcement programs, are helping save lives.More >>
    Safety officials say slogans like "Click it or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," and their respective law enforcement programs, are helping save lives.More >>
  • FBI confirms investigation of Madison Co. deputies continues

    FBI confirms investigation of Madison Co. deputies continues

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:52:17 GMT
    We are finding out what the next step is in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's review of accusations of civil rights violations by members of the Madison County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    We are finding out what the next step is in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's review of accusations of civil rights violations by members of the Madison County Sheriff's Office.More >>
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's targeting businesses and making it impossible to access  files -- it's called CryptoLocker.

CryptoLocker is a computer virus that quietly installs and encrypts files, which makes it harder to access them, but there's a catch -- in order for you to access these files you must pay up or lose it forever.

Computer Expert Jamie Mellis says the instructions are specific. A message says there's a private key on a secret server on the internet that will allow you to restore your files as long as you pay up by the deadline with an untraceable credit card.

"It's targeting businesses. It also goes after things like music files and pictures as well," Mellis said.

If those files are infected by the virus it can be devastating especially if you don't have them saved anywhere else.

Mellis said he encounters people on a daily basis with absolutely no backups and unfortunately in many cases there's nothing he can do to recover the files.

The CryptoLocker virus is spreading through phony FedEx and UPS tracking notifications and other emails pretending to come from legitimate businesses.

Those who have paid the ransom, typically $300, report their files are decrypted within a few hours. Those who didn't, have had to wipe their hard drives clean and restore them before they were usable again.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.