Ransomware email making the rounds in Elizabeth City

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Police say a new ransomware email has been circulating around Elizabeth City recently.

The police department says the email has an attached “invoice.” In it, the sender complains that they didn’t order anything and want their money back or asks the recipient to review their order.

Once a computer is infected with ransomware, it cannot open documents, pictures, video or music files without using an encryption key, which is usually obtained by paying money to the person who sent the ransomware.

The malware digitally encrypts and renames files using a sophisticated encryption, making it impossible to recover data without restoring your computer from a previous file backup. If you do daily backups, this process isn’t difficult. However, if you haven’t done a backup in awhile, you’re likely to lose data and files without an option to recover them. Restoring your computer from a backup is the only way to get rid of the ransomware.

Elizabeth City police warn that you should never open attachments from anyone you don’t know. Even if you know the sender, always be cautious, because you never know if they could have been hacked and are being used to send malware.