A new type of malware has recently been discovered that not only gains access to your files, but also take access away from you. Known as “ransomware,” this virus works by taking control and encrypting your files with a 1024-bit encryption, a level of encryption that is nearly impossible to open unless you have the right key. And the only way to get this key is to pay the hackers a ransom.
This is a virus that has been used before, but never on this level of encryption, making it almost impossible to crack even for the best of specialists. As much damage and inconvenience this malware causes, it is spread in the same way as any other virus, usually as an attachment in an e-mail or an executable file downloaded from the web.
By being careful with what e-mail attachments you open and what you download from the Web, this nasty virus can usually be avoided. But in the case that it does sneak onto your computer, a pop-up will appear, saying your files are locked and will display instructions on how to pay the ransom.
If you suspect that your computer has been infected, even if there was no pop-up, the first thing to do is turn off the computer and contact your security provider. Hopefully the computer can be restored or the encryption can be bypassed in some way without having to resort to paying the cyber criminals’ ransom.