Feeds

Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware: Whatever you do, don't PAY

Create remote backups before infection, advise infosec bods

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

'It may be possible to recover previous versions of the encrypted files'

The may be some hope of recovering previous versions of encrypted files but it's far better to avoid infection in the first place.

"In some cases, it may be possible to recover previous versions of the encrypted files using System Restore or other recovery software used to obtain 'shadow copies' of files," according to an advisory by anti-virus firm Malwarebytes.

More detailed advice on how some files might be recovered from infected machines can be found on borked PC advice website Bleeping Computer.

Another write-up of the threat can be found in a blog post by Trend Micro here.

Malwarebytes, Sophos (more info here) and other firms have added detection for strains of CryptoLocker to their antivirus products as well as blocking sites associated with the malware: factors that ought to provide some defence against infections taking hold.

However, antivirus technology can't help in recovering encrypted files post-infection.

The appearance of CryptoLocker reinforces the need to regularly back up personal data files. And local backups alone may not be enough. In some cases CryptoLocker may even attempt to attack backups located on a network drive connected to an infected PC. For this reason, a belt-and-braces approach featuring non-local and cloud-based backups becomes a sensible option.

Security experts agree that regular data backups are the best safeguard against potential calamity in the face of the threat.

Fabio Assolini, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, writes in a Twitter update."It's not possible to recover the files encrypted by CryptoLocker. It's not a good idea pay the ransom, backup is your friend."

Christopher Boyd, a senior threat researcher at ThreatTrack Security, concurred that recovery from backups is the best option: "There are only two real options (neither of which are particularly great).

"You can remove the virus but lose your files (unless you have them backed up), or pay the bad guys with a credit card to get the unlock code (assuming there even is one) to recover the locked data, then - one would assume - attempt to get the money back. Due to the potential complexity of the infection, email exchanges or even remote support may not be an ideal way to try to fix the problem."

A detailed discussion of the malware that took place around the time it first surfaced – in early September – can be found on a forum dedicated to kernel developers here. ®

CryptoLocker discussion video

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.