Computer Virus Hits New Ulm 09 Apr 14

A computer virus which had been affecting businesses in the Hutchinson area has now been reported in New Ulm. At least two New Ulm businesses have fallen victim to the “EncryptoLocker” ransomware Trojan. It targets computers running Microsoft Windows and may come from various sources, including disguised as a legitimate email attachment. When activated, the malware encrypts files on your hard drive and then displays a message offering to decrypt the data if a payment is made by a stated deadline, and threatens to delete the data if the deadline passes. The CryptoLocker program itself is easily removed, but the files remain encrypted,  and there are no documented instances of the files actually being unlocked if a payment is made. The best defense against CryptoLocker is to never open email attachments from unknown sources and to do regular data backups.