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Virus Warning - CryptoLocker

A warning has been sent to Academic Computing about a virus called CryptoLocker.

CryptoLocker currently has three delivery methods:

  • emails that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails would contain an attachment that when opened would infect the computer.
  • hacked web sites that exploit vulnerabilities on your computer to install the infection.
  • programs that pretend to be required to view online videos. 

Please use extra caution in regards to email attachments and Internet browsing. Use common sense when receiving email. Do not open anything that you are uncertain of its origin.

The virus will display a dialogue box with a blue and white checkered shield and will state 'Your personal files are encrypted!'

Cryptolocker will encrypt files on mapped and local drives the user has access to. The only options are to restore from previous backups or to pay a ransom (usually several hundred dollars). The unencrypting process can take a long time to complete (hours to days) and in some cases does not work. The encrypted files show up as corrupt if you try to open them. Reports are that antivirus will eventually catch the threat but only after files have already been encrypted.


If you think you have already been infected with the Virus, please contact the Help Desk, or 920-424-3020.


Laura Knaapen

Director of Academic Computing

UW Oshkosh