New online virus holds Franklin County users for ransom

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 7:20 PM

 (KMOV) – Several victims in Franklin County contacted police after getting attacked by an online virus that reportedly held their computers for ransom.

Three businesses in Franklin County were hit recently with a virus that’s called “Cryptolocker” and it can do serious damage by shutting down a computer, making it completely useless. The virus also wipes all information from the system.

They sit down and find their screen’s locked, along with a message that says they have 72 hours to pay $300 or they’ll never be able to use their computer again.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department’s IT Director said it’s a very sophisticated virus.

"It has been one of the nastiest viruses I've seen in recent history, it actually encrypts files on your computer, it can encrypt data files,” said Sgt. Dan Haley.

Meaning there’s no way you can access anything on the computer, for a business, that could mean a lot of important information could be lost.

Police warn, even if you pay the $300 and they free your computer, you don’t know if they will do it again. The best prevention is to not open an attachment on an email from an unknown sender.

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