A nasty new kind of computer virus is making the rounds.
The Cryptolocker virus is what's known as "Ransomware." It encrypts the files on a user's computer and then demands a payment to get it back. And in this case, that data is encrypted using a key that's so strong that even a supercomputer couldn't break it. For users, that means that unless they pay the ransom, their files are as good as gone. To get the files back, the virus demands payments of anywhere from $300 to $1000.
Cryptolocker is being spread by malicious files attached to "phishing" e-mails. The e-mails purport to come from banking or shipping companies, and include attached files which appear to be PDF text files. What the user doesn't know is that clicking on those files will install the virus on their machine. Experts also say the viruses are NOT being caught by current anti-virus programs. What that means is that by the time it shows up on your machine, it's too late to stop it.