New Ransomware Threat Emerges

A massive botnet is sending emails containing ransomware that could destroy your computer.

Image result for Scarab ransomware

You probably know from prior articles that ransomware is the # 1 digital threat in the world. The FBI estimates that nearly $1 billion was paid by victims of these attacks in 2016 alone. Now, millions of computers are at risk of being infected with a new ransomware strain. The threat is being spread in a super clever way that is easy to fall victim to.  That is why you need to know what to look for to prevent this threat.

It starts with a phishing email

The latest ransomware attack, dubbed Scarab, is being distributed by the Necurs botnet through phishing emails. Scarab first appeared this summer but was recently updated to block users from using third-party recovery tools. This attack is spreading extremely fast. Within the first six hours of being launched, over 12.5 million malicious emails were sent to unsuspecting victims.

The phishing emails supposedly contain a scanned document that the recipient will want to look at. The “document” is actually a zip attachment that contains a VBScript downloader. If the attachment is clicked, it will infect your computer, phone or tablet with ransomware.

People from all over the world started receiving these malicious emails on Novevmber 23rd. The email subject line says the document was scanned from trusted printer companies like:

• Scanned from Lexmark

• Scanned from Epson

• Scanned from HP

• Scanned from Canon

Once your computer is infected, a ransom note appears. It begins with, “If you want to get all your files back, please read this.” The note goes on to demand payment. In a strange twist, the scammers do not have a set ransom. Instead, the note says, “the price depends on how fast you write to us.”

The best way to avoid this ransomware attack is knowing how to spot a phishing email and not click this malicious link.

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