OCEAN COUNTY - Computer experts are warning Microsoft Windows users about what's being called the nastiest malware ever.

Experts say "Cryptolocker" targets systems that run Windows, and could make computers unusable.

Detective James Hill, of the Ocean County Prosecutor's High Tech Crime Unit, says the virus is one of the worst ones he's ever seen.

"Cryptolocker" strikes computers through an email that appears to be from a name you know. "It looks to be from a reputable source, UPS, FedEx, Hewlett Packard, something like that. It'll say you have a package to track," says Hill.

Users who click on the attachment will see a message informing them that their computer is locked up and their files encrypted. It then asks them to make a payment, often $100, to get their files back.

Experts say not to reply to the email or send a payment, which would provide the cyber criminal with personal banking information, which could lead to identity theft.

Hill recommends deleting the file. Anyone who clicks on the attachment by mistake should bring their computer to a repair shop.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

So far, there have been no reports of this malware in Ocean County.