The 10 Biggest Security Stories Of 2013

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8. Cryptolocker

The Cryptolocker ransomware, which surfaced in September, is being named one of the most menacing threats of 2013. Unlike other forms of ransomware, which security researchers say can be easily terminated and removed, Cryptolocker uses high-grade encryption against a victim's files and can spread to network-based storage appliances and cloud-based backup services.

At the core of the threat is a demand for Bitcoin payment to retrieve the key needed to unlock the files within several days of the infection. Some firms are said to have paid the ransom. The cybercriminals, they say, have been following through with those who pay by providing the key. Solution providers told CRN that other companies that had an offline backup were forced to reimage their systems following Cryptolocker infections.

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