The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is continuing to receive reports relating to Cryptolocker, a destructive malware that installs itself on your computer and holds your files to ransom by encrypting them.
Following their original alert and subsequent awareness raising by the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), the NFIB has seen an increase in reports of Cryptolocker to Action Fraud. Since the 8th September, the NFIB has received 157 reports from across the United Kingdom.
Cryptolocker surfaced in late 2013 and targets computers running Windows operating systems. It disguises itself as an attachment to an e-mail appearing to have been sent by legitimate company. It takes advantage of Windows' default behaviour of hiding the extension from file names to disguise the real .EXE extension (a program), and catches out victims that think they are opening a PDF or image file.
The NFIB is recommending that members of the public remain vigilant when opening emails, follow prevention advice and report any instances of Cryptolocker to Action Fraud.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is currently pursuing the fraudsters behind this advanced form of malware, and state that prevention is better than cure.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.