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Top Story: Ransomware email scam fools thousands with cheap flights

Top Story: Ransomware email scam fools thousands with cheap flights
Photo courtesy of Kaspersky Lab

Phishing scams are scary. Let's just look at the numbers alone. From January to September in 2015 an approximate 1.3 million people fell victim to these types of scams, costing them more money than you can imagine.

On top of that, the number of ransomware victims increased by a shocking 550 percent in less than a year, from 131,000 in 2015 to 718,000 in 2016.

So when phishing scams are combined with ransomware, it gets even scarier. And that's exactly what the new the CryptFile2 ransomware campaign is.

This new type of scam is targeting government agency employees by sending them hundreds of thousands of malicious emails for cheap flights in the hope of getting recipients to click, download a document and thereby infect their computer.

Here's an example of one of the emails going around. We've circled the obvious red flags so you know what to keep an eye out for:

cryptfile-ransomware-lure

You'll notice that the recipient is "someone@mycompany.com," the link to download a document, and the way the prices are listed. These are the immediate red flags you should be able to spot, in case you get an email like this.

Remember not to click on anything. If you click and download the attached document, malicious macros will be enabled. You'll see that the malicious document looks like this:

microsoft-word-cryptfile2

Once the macros are enabled, it's game over. From there, ransomware is installed on the computer and hackers will demand a payment via bitcoin to get your files back.

Next page: What can you do to stay safe?
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