The CryptoLocker trojan is perhaps one of the easiest scams to fall for, and unfortunately, it can have a very big impact on you and your business, if your computer does get impacted by it.
The good news, however, is that it is very easy to pick out and avoid, once you know the signs.
What is CryptoLocker?
CryptoLocker is a ransomwear trojan, which essentially locks your computer so that you cannot access any of your files, until you pay a specified random. This trojan is activated when a user clicks on a link emailed to them by a hacker.
How does it work?
The emails are generally disguised as sent from companies the general public trust, which is why so many people have been victims of this scam. See below a few examples of emails containing this trojan, which have been circulated in Australia over the past few months.
The way this works is, once the recipient clicks the link on the email, they are directed to another website, where they must download a document, in order to view the alleged bill or invoice. When the recipient begins to download, the hacker locks the computer, and informs the victim of the ransom amount, and the time they have to pay it, before their information is lost forever.
How do I avoid being scammed?
The good news is, there are a few things you can look out for, to avoid being scammed
- Mail domains are used that are convincing at first glance, but are actually fictional – for example firstname.lastname@example.org. Genuine Australia Post mail will come from @auspost.com.au.
- There is a trend for poor English language spelling and grammar – some emails may be better scripted but poor English should be easily identifiable when initially reading the email.
- Links in emails that take you directly to a captcha page – this is a technique used in legitimate mail but is also used in every variation of this attack we have seen so far and so should be treated as a red flag.
- Webpages that ask you to download a bill or open an attachment.