Cryptolocker malware is getting worse

A new variant of the nasty malware known as Cryptolocker is appearing on the Internet. Cryptolocker – once it infects your computer – encrypts all your files and then demands money to decrypt them. If you fail to pay within a specified time period, your files become permanently inaccessible.

The new version of Cryptolocker can apparently spread itself via portable media such as thumb drives. It is also often disguised as a software activation program for Photoshop and Microsoft Office on file sharing sites. The original Cryptolocker typically arrived in the form of a fake PDF file.

Disguising Cryptolocker as a software activation program is a particularly devious way to spread the malware. Every day, thousands of people who can’t afford the massively overpriced Office and Photoshop look for alternative ways to use that software, and now those people are going to be risking more than the ire of Microsoft and Adobe.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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