Ransomware hazards have recently been undergoing a renaissance. After the successes of viruses such as Petya or Locky, other cybercriminals are also trying to extort money from their victims by using such a dangerous software. As it turns out, one of the most famous ransomware – Locky did not say it’s last word yet.
AppRiver, a cyber-security company, reports that 23 million emails have been sent recently within the last 24 hours alone, containing a ZIP archive with a dangerous VBS file (Virtual Basic script). If the application is launched, Locky will start its work by encrypting data on the machine, which, of course, makes access to the computer very difficult. Moreover, it is worth taking care when opening emails now, because no way to decrypt the information on your drive has been found once it has been encrypted by Locky.
The title of emails mostly contain “photos” or “printable materials” – in English, of course. After a successful infection, Locky asks the user to pay 0.5 bitcoin (almost $2500) to the virtual wallet, which is of course a very high price in exchange for unlocking the data. Cyber security experts believe that this is the very fact that Locky’s creators will not earn too much on their computer virus – even given the amount of Locky infection.
How do I protect myself from Locky virus?
First of all, it is not worth opening e-mail attachments from unknown senders. If you have come to such an option, remove it as soon as possible to exclude the possibility of opening it by mistake or by someone else. Spam filters in popular mail services should deal with Locky e-mails and probably either they have been sent to a SPAM or haven’t been received in your inbox at all. For all other cyber threats, it is equally important to update the operating system. In many situations, having the latest security patches can prevent cyber criminals from exploiting already patched vulnerabilities. It is worth remembering about this.
And finally, if we are very afraid of such threats as ransomware, it is worthwhile to make backups of important files from your computer’s hard drive. A portable drive or a sufficient amount of cloud space may be useful for this. How you make your backups depends only on you – it is important to just have them and use them if necessary. As for viruses such as Locky, it is extremely important to have a backup copy, as there is no way to recover data without paying cybercriminals, which is risky too. However, it may soon turn out that Locky’s security measures will collapse and there is already an idea how various softwares could be used to decrypt the contents of a drive attacked by this ransomware.