A global computer virus known as "Cryptovirus" has now been detected in some Mid-Michigan homes.
"When I first got the call... I said no way," said Eean Lee, an IT expert at Zimco Technology Solutions in Frankenmuth.
Lee said a customer called him and stated all of her files were encrypted, but he thought she was not properly explaining her problem.
"And then I looked at it and said.... whoa," Lee said.
Lee said the virus commonly spreads by downloading an attachment or clicking on a link inside an email.
Once a computer is infected with the virus, a message pops up on your screen warning you that your files have been encrypted and the only way you can unlock them is a pay a ransom.
"A countdown clock actually appears on your screen," Lee explained.
If you don't pay the ransom of two bitcoins within 72 hours the hackers threaten to delete the files forever.
A bitcoin is an online currency that fluctuates daily. It is currently valued at approximately $290.
The best way to safeguard your computer from this malicious virus is to be cautious of what you are doing online.
"Don't open an email from people you don't know or from businesses you don't do business with," Lee added.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street