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Top Story: Ransomware spreading in huge spam attack

Top Story: Ransomware spreading in huge spam attack
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you think we've been warning you a lot about ransomware attacks, there's a reason for that. These frightening cyberattacks, when a hacker takes over your computer and demands money to give you access to your own device, are on the rise.

For instance, a hospital in Los Angeles recently paid ransom to hackers to get access back to its computer system, including patient records. The FBI recommends you pay ransom, if you're victimized.

Right now, there's a ransomware attack underway. Cybersecurity experts say they've seen an 800% increase in malware-laced emails. A good amount of those are from a ransomware called Locky. It's nasty.

Hackers are sending people like you emails with subject lines that say something about an invoice. It's a phishing scam.

When you open the email, there's a JavaScript attachment. Never open an attachment or link sent by someone you don't know. If it's legitimate, call the company that's supposedly sending it to confirm that it came from them.

Unfortunately, Locky is a fitting name. If you do click on the attachment, a botnet from the Dridex virus family locks your computer's files. You won't be able to get in. Note: About a year ago, hackers used the Dridex Trojan to steal $30 million from bank accounts.

If your computer is infected with Locky, you may see this alarming message on your computer screen. "All of your files are encrypted with RSA-2048 and AES-128 ciphers."

The ransomware note continues: "Decrypting of your files is only possible with the private key and decrypt program, which is on our secret server."

The hackers create a website for you, but you can only access it through the anonymous Web browser Tor. There, they demand ransom to be paid in bitcoins.

 

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