The Cryptolocker Virus is gaining victims by the hour and there is very little you can do about it.
When you know you have this particular virus, the damage has already been done. The way it works is by getting into your system via email, social media sites (facebook), pirate downloads or other infected website that you happen to drop on. It then starts encrypting EVERY data file on your Windows PC using industry standard technology as used by places such as The Pentagon and other high profile organisations.
There are currently only 2 ways to get your data back, pay the €300 ransom or totally format your hard drive, reinstall from your recovery discs (you know, the ones I'm always telling you to do) and restore your data from that backup you've done (what do you mean, what backup).
I think that means you have a couple of jobs to do sooner, rather than later! That's backup your data - all those photos and important documents - and create your recovery discs so your PC can be reset to the day you bought it. Generally speaking, if you have Windows XP, you should have an installation disc somewhere, if not, get one form your PC manufacturer or we can source one for you. Most Windows 7 systems have an option to create recovery media as do Windows 8. Do it!
You cannot be complacent, this threat can and will destroy your data and/or the entire contents of your hard drives if you don't pay the ransom.
I am receiving regular updates of individuals and corporations alike, all succumbing to this threat at an alarming rate and most are paying the ransom to get their data back because they didn't look after it in the first place. Don't let this happen to you.
The easiest way to backup your photos and documents is to copy your 'my documents' folder (or libraries folder - win7/8) onto a usb memory stick. If you don't have all the photos and documents on your PC in the 'my documents/libraries' folder, then put them there now and stop being sloppy. That's where they belong if they're on your PC.
Please be assured that if you get this and you don't have your data backed up, there is only one way you MIGHT get it back, and that's paying the €300 to the crooks within 3 days or it's gone. If they 'give' you your data back, it can take days before all your files are returned and you need to keep you PC turned on and connected to the internet until the job is finished or you lose what hasn't been undone.
This can be a problem for those on wireless services such as Ole, Telecable, TeleEast and the like because they always have momentary dips in service when it's not available and this can be enough to disconnect from the remote PC doing the decryption.