Ransomware Virus Cryptolocker Mixes Old and New Tricks to Exploit Vulnerable Systems, Resisting Typical Anti-virus Protocols
RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- First identified in September 2013, the Cryptolocker virus infiltrates computer systems in a fairly typical way. Unsuspecting users download what they believe is tracking information for a package, only to see their files be locked tight within a virtually unbreakable encryption algorithm. The team of security experts at Raleigh's Petronella Technology Group (http://www.petronellacomputer.com/) has dealt with this latest iteration of ransomware, and they are confident they can help prevent future attacks.
Perhaps Cryptolocker's most unsettling characteristic is its ability to do an end-around of standard virus protection software. Software developers are in a perpetual arms race with cyber criminals, but this is one instance where the criminals have gained the advantage. Even with a rigid set of best practices and anti-virus software in place, it's still possible to fall prey to an attack from Cryptolocker. Thus far, the virus has managed to infect at least a quarter million machines, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.
Once Cryptolocker gains access to a system, it encrypts particular files using public-key cryptography. The key to decrypting the data is remotely held by the attackers. Shortly thereafter, a "ransom note" appears with an offer to decrypt the data for a fee, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If the ransom is not paid, the message warns, the key will be deleted and the encrypted information will be effectively lost. The encryption is strong enough that many experts recommend paying the ransom; currently, breaking this level of encryption is not practical.
Petronella Technology Group has monitored all the latest developments in the battle against Cryptolocker and is pleased to include protection against this threat in its Managed Security Solution. In consultation with the FBI, the company has engineered a customized defense against ransomware in all its forms. If somehow an attack is still successful, Petronella Technology Group will pay any ransom necessary to unlock its client's system.
As a business owner and cybersecurity expert in North Carolina's Research Triangle, Craig Petronella, founder of Petronella Technology Group, has authored two books on IT security issues. His most recent work on the Cryptolocker virus is now for sale on Amazon.
About Petronella Technology Group
Founded in 2002, our mission is to provide proactive, world-class managed IT Support Services to small businesses in the Raleigh area at an affordable, fixed monthly rate. By allowing us to manage all aspects of IT, we are able to prevent problems before they cause you downtime.
The vision of Petronella Technology Group is to provide these same reliable and affordable IT Support and services to businesses globally.
5540 Centerview Drive #200
Raleigh, NC 27606
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SOURCE Petronella Technology Group