Cryptolocker is a particularly nasty type of malware, known as Ransomware, that is spread via the download of malicious email attachments from fraudulent email, or phishing. Once downloaded, Cryptolocker uses a key to encrypt your computer files - such as documents, photos, videos, etc. - and holds them hostage until you pay a large sum of money to decrypt the files. If a machine becomes infected, the malware can be removed, but there is no way to recover the encrypted files without the extorted encryption key.
The best defense against this attack is to proactively screen suspicious emails and periodically backup important files. Phishing emails can be very convincing, sometimes spoofing a professional company such as Google, Facebook, or Microsoft, so it is important to verify email and email attachments from unknown senders. Often phishing emails will threaten to close your account if you do not click a link or download an attachment. Remember, ITS will never ask for your account password or personal information and will not threaten your account for not providing this information.
If you think you have gotten a suspicious or fraudulent email, please contact ITS by phone at 618-650-5500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org