OMAHA(KPTM)-What would you do if you found out you would lose everything on your computer if you couldn't come up with three hundred bucks in three days? It's happening all over the world, including here in Nebraska.
Not even computer professionals are immune from a new virus. Thor Schrock of Schrock Innovations says the weekend crew at one of his repair locations let the anti-virus software run out and that's when Cryptolocker pounced.
"Over the weekend the Norton protection expired and the weekend crew said 'oh don't worry about it, we'll renew it on Monday, we can't be bothered with it. Then we got an email that sounded like it was from a customer and it said 'hey guys, I received this invoice from you. I was confused, I thought I paid this, can you check it out?" said Schrock, adding "They thought it was a legitimate customer email and opened up the attachment and hello Cryptolocker."
Cryptolocker holds files for ransom by encrypting them and destroying the key if you don't hand over money within a certain amount of time. Schrock said fortunately for him, all of his and his clients files were backed up and the virus caused a minor inconvenience, but for others it has cost hundreds if not thousands to get their information back.
Schrock says if you think your computer has been infected, the best thing you can do is shut it down right away and bring it in to a repair shop like Schrock Innovations. He adds the best way to protect your computer to begin with is to invest in a product like Norton 360 and keep it current. He also recommends downloading "Secure Updater," which keeps third party programs like Flash and Java, which can fall victim to these hackers, updated at all times.
For more information on secure updater:
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