Targeting over 133 countries, eleven thousand IP addresses and deploying over sixty-two thousand phishing emails the ransomware, dubbed .locky, is currently wreaking havoc on a global scale.
So, what is ransomware?
There are two types of ransomware; 1) it encrypts the files on a computer or network. 2) it locks a user’s screen. Both types require users to make a payment (the ‘ransom’) to be able to use the computer again.
How does ransomware infect your system?
By clicking unknown attachments, links or programs. Even visiting some types of websites can make you vulnerable to a ransomware attack. Other ways can be transfer via memory sticks or USBs of an infected machine or through social engineering like Facebook messenger.
What impact does ransomware have?
Ransomware will prevent access to your system or data until a solution is found.
The security vendor Comodo said in a statement that, “The campaign was first detected on Aug. 9, and more than 62,000 phishing emails related to the attack were detected at Comodo-protected endpoints alone, as of Friday.”
Therefore, it is important to know a couple of ways to spot phishing emails. Phishing (pronounced just like “fishing”) is not unlike fishing itself. Thieves and scammers send out a line (an email) with a hook (promise of money or threat of action) hoping to catch a fish (personal information or money).
Examples of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails appear to come from a reputable source. Some common ones include Canada Revenue Agency, PayPal, Apple or even your bank. They generally look very authentic and include logos and the sent from address looks to be from that organization. They include a link to another site.
When looking at an email, make note of the following things:
With .locky continuing its destructive path, now is a good time to review if your organization is receiving proper back-ups, that there is a security plan in place and that all users have education about ransomware and phishing emails.
Stay safe out there.