Criminals hijacking your data files

The new "CryptoLocker virus" is spreading rapidly

A virus that hijacks your data files is now spreading among PC - users. When you first discover that you have the virus it is too late. You will have to pay criminal traffickers up to several hundred dollars to get your documents and pictures back.

October 2013 : Recently, many computer users have been affected by the so-called " CryptoLocker virus." This virus is particularly nasty because the data files on your PC are encrypted and users risk losing important documents and photos forever.

This is one of several examples of so-called hostage software, also called "ransomware", which is a growing threat to PC - users. Virus makers increasingly focus on extorting money directly out of the victims. The virus spreads can occur in a variety of ways, but so far most frequently through e - mail attachments and web pages. And it is no longer enough to stay away from "questionable" websites; totally legitimate websites have become the biggest source of infection. Once you have been infected and the files on your PC have been encrypted, your files are to be regarded as lost. The virus uses powerful asymmetric encryption, which makes it impossible to decrypt without a key. It may be a desperate situation for many is losing all the data you had on your PC.

-  It is best to be proactive and make sure to have updated security software and a cloud - based backup solution with revision history , says Arne Uppheim , product director Norman Safeground. Good security software has several mechanisms to stop known malware such as CrytoLocker before it affects you. But if an accident happens, it is good to have a backup so you can get your files back.
We advise people who are affected not to pay. It promotes organized crime, and it is by no means certain that you get your files back to it.

"Legitimate websites" are no longer safe

CryptoLocker has so far been spread mostly through e - mail attachments, and so-called phishing emails pretending to be something other than what it is. We also see that there is a growing problem that ordinary legitimate websites have been an important source of infection for malware. Therefore it is no longer enough for users to have safe surfing habits and avoid shady sites.

Malicious software spread through known websites where they gain entry through advertisements, or by the pages having been hacked. It is increasingly common with automated ad networks where it is difficult for the site to have control over what it serves to users.
The result is that unsuspecting users can be infected by hostage software, or other viruses and malicious software from websites they believe are safe. It is only up-to-date security software that can protect you from this.

Awareness and Protection

It is always important that users are aware of the threats and suspicious of dodgy websites , mail , attachments and questions about permissions from unknown software. But with more and more devious hackers, it is harder and harder to distinguish threats from legitimate content.

Even Norman receives between 100,000 and 130,000 new malicious software codes every day .

- Malicious software has become a major and cynical industry, says Arne Uppheim, product director for Norman Safeground. The most important thing for users is to have a solution that ensures their security as well as possible and to be aware of what email and attachments you open. Make sure that you have premium security software and that it is updated, and that your operating system and all your programs are updated. And by all means, invest in a backup solution with full revision history so you can get back working versions of your files.

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Arne Uppheim, product director Norman Safeground
Tlf: 481 88 095


Stephanie Kane
AVG Technologies
+ 44 7817 631016

Isabella Alveberg
Norman Safeground
+47 95730578


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