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The cryptowall virus encrypts interesting files (images, videos, documents) on a Windows PC. The virus then directs the user to a ransom website and then asks for between US$500 and US$1000 in bitcoin.

I’ve had two friends contact me about this recently, so I guess it may be a trend. One was a sophisticated IT user with terabytes of data affected (he did not pay). Another is just a regular Windows user, and is deciding whether to pay.

Anyone here paid? Does it work?

If you read the Neal Stephenson book REAMDE, then this will all sound very familiar.