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CryptoLocker Ransomware Has Infected around 250,000 Computers - Dell SecureWorks

According to Dell SecureWorks CTU, crooks responsible for the now notorious "CryptoLocker" ransomware have already infected 200,000 to 250,000 systems worldwide.

Spreading like wildfire from offices to homes, it (CryptoLocker) arrives with email as attachments (or over tainted networks) to violently encrypt all files on a machine (including mapped drives, Dropbox files and all locally connected network-attached or cloud-based storage) - while a frightening timer on the monitor insists imbursement within 72 hours.

Keith Jarvis, Senior Security Researcher at Dell SecureWorks, estimates that on a very conventional basis just 0.4% of those affected by CryptoLocker have made the payment ever since it (CryptoLocker) emerged four months ago, reported by ibtimes.co.uk on December 19, 2013.

The standard sum paid is about $300 and if combined with the number of systems infected, then crooks behind it would have made an estimated $300,000 in just 100 days.

However this figure might be much higher as Jarvis notes that 0.4% estimate is a "minimum" and is "very likely many times" higher than this meaning that the probable earnings might be in the millions for the gang operating CryptoLocker.

Interestingly, CryptoLocker infections have surged over the last few months while officials of the US-CERT and National Cyber Crime Unit of U.K.'s National Crime Agency warning users of machines in their regions about CryptoLocker infections in October and November respectively.

While both countries sounded the alarm however it was the US that saw the lion's share of infections at least from October 22, 2013 to November 1, 2013 since the US saw 22,360 infections amounting to 70.2% of the total infections during that period. Great Britain came a distant second with almost 2,000 infected systems or roughly 5.5% of the full infections.

The masterminds have tried to avoid whiteheads by shifting around their C&C infrastructure. They have been using a DGA or domain generation algorithm to generate 1,000 potential C&C domain addresses per day to be employed beside static servers for their infamous campaign and this vitality seems to be working.

CryptoLocker won't fade away in 2014 in fact it appears to grow bigger thanks to the ability and technical understanding of the gang responsible for it, concludes Dell.

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