CryptoLocker increases attack levels, using spear-phishing techniques

Cybercriminals using CryptoLocker are getting more creative in their attack methods to try and infect users, and they are continuing to cash in.

Published Tue, May 20 2014 5:15 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:16 PM CST

The CryptoLocker ransomware continues to plague PC users in the United States and throughout the western world, with spear-phishing techniques now used to spread the payload. Specifically, companies with CraigsList postings that receive emails with attached files are being compromised, as CryptoLocker is infecting company executives, company owners, or human resources personnel.

CryptoLocker increases attack levels, using spear-phishing techniques |

CryptoLocker has proven to be extremely successful for cybercriminals, with forty percent of those affected reportedly paying the ransom. Unfortunately, simply removing the malware once it has been installed doesn't work - CryptoLocker is installed, but the encrypted files remain in control of the criminals.

Here is what Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 CEO, said in a statement: "These methods pose a high risk for companies looking to hire as well as for individual Internet users. The cybergangs running these Crypto-variants will try any number of things to outdo each other and extort your hard earned money. Since the weakest point in any security model is the person who touches the keyboard, it is vital to educate users what to look for. Stepping them through effective Security Awareness Training will make them think twice before clicking on a link, or open a possibly infected attachment."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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