An advanced form of ransomware that first surfaced in September 2013, attacking individuals and companies in the U.K by arriving as an attachment in an e-mail that appears to be a customer complaint. If the attachment is opened, the CryptoLocker Trojan horse infiltrates the computer or server and encrypts all of the files on the computer with commercial-grade 2048-bit RSA encryption, at which point CryptoLocker displays a demand for money notice on the computer.
Also known as Crilock, CryptoLocker typically requires a payment of 300 Euros via digital currency payment methods such as Bitcoins of MoneyPak. The victim is often provided a limited timeframe like 72 hours in which to pay the ransomware fee or risk permanently losing their data.
If the victim does pay the ransom fee, they can expect to receive a decryption key that will restore their data and files, although there’s no guarantee that the cyber criminals responsible for the particular variant of CryptoLocker will honor that promise.
CryptoLocker is also able to spread quickly and infect other computers by utilizing other bot networks like ZeuS.