If you’ve never encountered ransomware, consider yourself lucky. Ransomware is malware that completely locks down your computer and threatens to corrupt or destroy your files unless you pay a fine. In the past, there have been relatively simple workarounds to remove ransomware from your computer, but Ars Technica shares the stories of those who came face to face with CryptoLocker, an especially persistent piece of ransomware that demands affected users pay a $300 fee if they ever want to see their files again.

CryptoLocker gives infected users 72 hours to pay the ransom, and according to some users, the hackers behind CryptoLocker have been keeping their word and decrypting the computers of those who shell out $300 via a MoneyPak card or 2 Bitcoins (which converts to about $300 USD). Are there any other options? It’s fairly telling that the PC repair specialist who spoke with Ars said that his suggestion to his clients was to comply with the demands.

Although malware may finally be making its way to mobile platforms, it is still prevalent, and perhaps even more dangerous than ever before on personal computers.