One of the more virulent and frustrating bits of malware has now affected roughly 250,000 computers. Basically Cryptolocker operates by scrambling an infected computers’ data then offering to unscramble it for a fee. The ransomware does have the courtesy of providing a convenient countdown timer to let you know when your data will become irretrievable. If you chose to go for the payment route, there is the added convenience of having to setup a moneypak or bitcoin account as well.
Apparently CryptoLocker does actually honor its demands and unlocks your data once the payment is received, although the payments do take random amounts of time ranging from an hour to several weeks to process. Not that there is much comfort in that, because you got your data back but you still have that lovely bit of malware. Unfortunately at this time, there does not seem to be a crack yet for CryptoLocker so if you get it, you are looking at a reformat or hoping that you have your data is backed up somewhere.
Hopefully there will be a fix out in the coming weeks. Until then, just continue practicing basic safe internet protocols and keep your antivirus software up to date.