Computer Virus

On 12/16/2016 the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a local business of a computer virus that had infected their computer via a spam email. The virus is known as the Locky Ransomware virus and is distributed via spam email containing infected attachments or links to a malicious website. The Locky Ransomware targets all versions of Windows including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.

In this case the email appeared as an invoice from a company that the local business has done business with in the past. Once the email was opened, the virus encrypted all the user files converting them to an .osiris extension, so they can no longer be opened. The cyber criminals then offer to unlock the encrypted files for an exorbitant fee.

The Sheriff’s Office strongly encourages that you be very cautious in opening emails that seem odd or unusual to you to avoid the virus. The local business was fortunate enough to have the files saved on a backup server so the information can be restored, but the business will still incur the expenses associated with having the hard drives replaced.