The fastest spreading cybercrime in the world is ransomware. Once infected, you could lose important documents, files and precious photos forever. It's become such a problem that the malicious software could cost victims an estimated $1 billion in 2016 alone.
One of the most recently discovered versions of ransomware is more aggressive than most, giving victims only 96 hours to pay up before deleting their files.
MarsJoke, also known as Polyglot, was first discovered in September 2016. It is distributed via email claiming to have tracking information from an airline, which of course contains a malicious link that deploys the ransomware.
The email reads:
"my dear customer, we are glad to let you be aware that your postal parcel #233526573 has been dispatched. in case you are out to check up your postal parcel and keep an eye on the pathway of this parcel, make no difficulty to use the tracking number provided in the file below."
Photo Credit: Lookout
How to decrypt MarsJoke
Ransomware is such a growing problem that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is getting involved. The FBI recently issued a public service announcement in an effort to crack down on ransomware. Here are some recommendations from the FBI to prevent ransomware attacks:
- Back up data regularly - this could be the best way to recover your critical data if you are infected.
- Make sure your backups are secure - do not connect your backups to computers or networks that they are backing up.
- Never open risky links in emails - don't open attachments from unsolicited emails.
- Download only trusted software - make sure the software you download comes from trusted sites.