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TEAM Blog

Don't Be Caught Out By Ransomware

Ransomware has been in the news a lot recently but do you know what it is and how to protect against it?

Ransomwear is a type of malware that locks computer systems and demands a fee for their release. The use of ransomware scams has grown internationally over the last few years; security software vendor McAfee released data showing that it had collected over 250,000 unique samples of ransomware in just a few months and the first cases on Apple Macs have now been reported.

In most cases, ransomware is spread via email, with an attached Office document containing a malicious macro. These emails are often plausibly titled, such as “invoice attached”, “job offer”, “holiday booking confirmation”, “Courier tracking reference” and other lures which are sent to random email addresses. Within the email is a .zip file or link which once clicked initiates the installation of the rogue program. If you open the document, it tries to encrypt your files with the ransomware. Other variants sometimes arrive as a .zip file. The emails are often fake invoices, that look geniune, and seem to come from legitimate senders or companies.

In addition, many of the emails have been “spoofed”. This means that they appear to be coming from someone you know. This is not actually the case, the email may say it has come from a known sender, but the actual email address it has come from is a randomly generated email address, used solely for the purpose of spamming. 

The vast majority of dangerous emails are blocked by spam servers and anti-virus software, but unfortunately there is the risk that a new threat may be received before the spam servers and anti-virus softwares have been updated with the latest patches and definitions.

We urge everyone to be extra cautious when receiving and opening emails. If an email is received that is unexpected, or that looks slightly out of place, please check the email address that it has come from, or contact the sender to ensure it is legitimate. If you have any doubts or concerns at all, please call us at Saqqara IT immediately before opening emails so we can double check and help keep your computers and network safe.

This piece is written for information only to raise awareness and provide caution.

   

Kevin Andrews

Saqqara IT Support

The Bakery, 94 The Street, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4QR

0330 223 2949

www.saqqarait.com

hello@saqqaraIT.com