‘Ransom’ spam e-mail targets UK users

Written by:
Hyve Management
Date Posted:
19 November 2013
Category:
Security

UK internet users are at risk from ransom e-mail spam. Once the attachment is opened, deadly Malware can encrypt drives and files and force users to pay a ransom to unlock it.

Security warning
A recent warning from the National Cyber Crime Unit has revealed that there is a significant risk for UK internet users from spam e-mail. There is currently a ‘ransom’ spam e-mail that is circulating the web and targeting small and medium businesses, as well as unsuspecting internet users.

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The e-mail itself looks legitimate and contains a seemingly harmless attachment to download. However, the attachment contains Malware that encrypts drives and files completely, meaning that they are inaccessible and that sensitive data may have been compromised.

Don’t open the attachment…
If the attachment is opened, the Malware installs a piece of ransomware on Windows OS. A countdown timer then demands that a ransom must be paid in order to decrypt the files. The ransom demands that users pay 2 Bitcoins (virtual currency that is equivalent to over £500) to release the data.

This recent instance of spam puts users at significant risk, especially due to the increasingly devious ways that spammers spoof the design and branding of reputable companies. Reports have suggested that individuals who have paid the ransom have not had success with decrypting their files.

Computer users should not click on any suspicious attachments and should have up-to-date antivirus software. It is also advised to create regular backups of files as a precautionary measure.

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