Cryptolocker, Newest Twist on the Ransomware Cyber Attack, Puts Critical Data at Risk and Costs Businesses Millions and Counting

By January 16, 2014Bitcoin Tech
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RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At least several million dollars and countless terabytes of data have been lost to the Cryptolocker virus, which at last count had infected more than 250,000 computers. Businesses without an action plan to deal with a Cryptolocker infection are flirting with disaster. Seeing the need for an effective response to this threat, Raleigh's Petronella Technology Group has developed an airtight system for stopping the virus in its digital tracks:

Cryptolocker belongs to the family of computer viruses known as ransomware. The attack begins when the virus encrypts a user's files. They remain encrypted until a ransom is paid to whatever faceless entities are behind the attack. Ransomware is not new, but the Cryptolocker virus has ratcheted up the stakes. Analysts have noted that the virus has become more widespread than its predecessors, uses a more robust form of encryption, and is unfazed by typical anti-virus software.

For businesses, ransomware is a dual-pronged threat. Of course there's the financial impact of paying the ransom, which about 3 percent of victims have elected to do. There's also the effect of having security vulnerabilities exposed and exploited. In an era when information is money, not being able to safeguard that information can be ruinous.

Reports indicate that Cryptolocker, like many viruses, spreads when users download a zipped file within an email. The email may appear to be tracking information from FedEx or UPS, but of course this is a ruse. Businesses are particularly vulnerable, as the sending and receiving of packages and associated tracking data may be quite routine.

A precise estimate of the total damages wrought by Cryptolocker is difficult to come by, as not all victims have been accounted for. Plus, the attackers typically ask for ransom payments in an anonymous (and volatile) digital currency like Bitcoin. In one investigation of accounts supposedly linked to Cryptolocker attacks, $27 million had been transferred over the course of two months. Suffice it to say, ransomware is earning its creators millions in ill-gotten loot.

Craig Petronella, founder of Petronella Technology Group, has written extensively on the subject of cybersecurity; his guide to the Cryptolocker virus is currently 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.


Craig Petronella 
5540 Centerview Drive #200 
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 422-2607

Read more news from Petronella Technology Group.

SOURCE Petronella Technology Group


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