CalArts IT has seen a sharp rise in the number of reports from various internet security agencies and companies of new variants of Ransomware; malicious software that encrypts a victim's computer and demands money for the decryption key. While we have had no reports of ransomware infected computers on campus we feel this is an especially important problem for our community to be aware of.
Please see the following United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team post regarding Ransomware.
You may have heard of Cryptolocker, a piece of malicious code that can encrypt your files without your authorization then demand money for the decryption key. This type of malware is especially difficult to fix, if you do not possess the decryption key it is virtually impossible to do anything. To make matters worse, the attackers give you a timer until the moment the decryption key will allegedly be deleted.
Thankfully Cryptolocker has been cracked and decryption keys can now be created for free.
In the last few days some new variants of Ransomware have been released, called CryptoDefense and Cryptowall. US-CERT (linked above) has a number of informational resources regarding Ransomware that CalArts IT encourages you to read.
If you are affected by Ransomware, or just have questions about it, stop by our office or submit a ticket and we'll be happy to help!