Cryptolocker virus attacks computers on campus

Computer files are encrypted and held for “ransom” after the Cryptolocker, a new malware, gains control of your documents.

The virus displays a pop-up screen that demands the computer user pay a fee ranging from $200-$2,000. Once the fee is paid, users will receive the encryption key to free their documents.

However, if the fee is not paid between usually 72-96 hours, the key will be destroyed and your files will have been consumed by Cryptolocker. Yet, there have been reports that people whose files were being held for “ransom” paid the money but never obtained the key to salvage their files.

Cryptolocker was first reported by experts in October and has been of great concern ever since.

In order for Crytoplocker to activate the encryption of files, the virus requires communication to a controlling server. The University’s IT Services team is using its firewall to block known controlling servers before an attack occurs.

University IT Services installed an antivirus program on all University owned laptops called Microsoft Forefront EndPoint Protection, which enables the computer to detect and block Cryptolocker.

University IT Services recommendations:

1. Use an antivirus program and make sure it is always up- to-date

2. If you do not have an antivirus program, contact the Technology Service Desk (973-275-2222)

3. Or contact the Technology Service desk via email (

4. DO NOT open attachments or links that are sent in suspicious emails

5. ALWAYS back up your work (Store files in your SkyDrive Pro folder)

6. If you suspect you are being attacked by Cryptolocker or any other malware, immediately contact the IT Services Desk

Jordyn Puchino can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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