We've been telling you that the number of ransomware attacks has been increasing for quite some time now. Not only are they more abundant but they are also getting nastier.
Ransomware has become such a major problem, the FBI is asking for your help to stop the scammers. Now, the most dangerous strain of ransomware ever has been discovered.
Researchers have found malware named Mamba on computers in the U.S., Brazil and India. What makes this worse than previous forms of ransomware is it doesn't encrypt individual files, instead it encrypts the computer's entire hard drive.
It's similar to ransomware that we warned you about earlier this year called Petya, which targets computers at the disk level. Petya would encrypt the Master File Table on the computers it infected. The difference here is Mamba locks up compromised hard drives using an open source disk encryption tool called DiskCryptor.
Regular ransomware finds and encrypts your important files, such as documents and photos. However, you still have access to your computer, meaning you can wipe it and start over if you need to. Regular ransomware can even miss important files sometimes.
Mamba is most likely being spread through phishing emails. After successfully infecting a gadget, it overwrites its Master Boot Record with a custom one. Then it encrypts the whole partitions of the disk.
Mamba will not allow an infected computer's operating system to boot up without a password. The victim will see a note demanding ransom in exchange for the password. The note will also include an ID number for the infected computer along with an email address where they can request the password.
The evolution of ransomware is moving fast. It's frightening knowing cybercriminals are out there finding more devious ways to steal our information and money.
If you want to learn more about ransomware, listen to our podcast on how to avoid ransomware pitfalls.