By: Hannah Paczkowski
It's an attack that's hitting computers across the nation.
And people have to pay up within a certain time or their files could be gone forever.
"It actually takes your information, once it installs, it starts taking all your information and encrypting it," says Nick Bock, CEO of Five Nines Technology Group in Lincoln.
It's a virus called "Cryptolocker" and it keeps all of your files on lockdown.
With no way to de–crypt them unless you pay the $100 to $300 ransom.
This "ransomware" comes from emails disguised as something harmless. For example, UPS or FedEx, with an attachment.
And if you run that attachment, that virus will infect your computer.
"UPS and FedEx just aren't sending people zip files with attachments in it, so when you get those you just delete them," Block says.
the virus doesn't take cash or credit...
it only accepts a money pack you buy from the store.
"It feels a little weird and it feels a little shady but the actual reality is, unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective, in the instances where the people are paying the actual ransom, their files are being decrypted," says Block.
But the best way to beat the cryptolocker is to back up your files before getting hacked, and don't open attachments that you're not sure are safe.