IT Services warns about CryptoLocker malware, cybersecurity

IT Services is warning computer users about a particularly vicious kind of malware, called CryptoLocker.

A student works on a laptop computer

How CryptoLocker works

CryptoLocker encrypts or freezes large parts of a Windows PC’s hard drive, then asks the user to pay to regain access.

Once CryptoLocker installs itself, it contacts a remotely operated server run by criminals, called a command-and-control server.

On that server, criminals create a unique set of encryption keys for each individual PC using the RSA encryption algorithm — one key to encrypt the computer’s data, and one key to decrypt it.

More details on CryptoLocker

Be safe online

There have been several cyber intrusions like this one making national news recently, and more can be expected. These threats are real and could be aimed at MSU faculty, staff and students.

Minimize the potential consequences of these intrusions by knowing and following safe computing practices.

MSU SecureIT offers tips and suggestions including:

  1. Make sure your personal firewall is turned on.
  2. Perform regular operating system updates and software updates. These updates often include security patches.
  3. Install antivirus and antispyware software.
  4. Upgrade to the latest version of your browser and take advantage of the security features available.