You can’t accuse the crooks distributing ransomware of being lazy. They’re always coming up with new and innovative ideas to trick you into downloading their damaging malware. Ransomware is a particularly damaging form of Malware that locks up your hard drive and can even destroy your files. Crooks will only agree to unlock it if you pay a ransom. Of course, you can’t trust them to keep their word and who knows how much of your personal information they’ll manage to steal before you can regain control of your computer.
Ransomware infections are serious business. They’ve managed to paralyze entire cities, hospitals, utilities, and businesses by locking their computers. Sometimes even closing down 9-1-1 systems. All of these infections start basically the same way.
Someone is tricked into clicking a seemingly innocent looking file. Often times it is disguised as a spreadsheet or office document attached to a message or as a link to a Google Drive or other cloud storage.
One new tactic is disguising the malware as a voice message notification. The folks at Internet Storm Center reported on how this trick works.
Many people are set up to receive email notification of voice messages. The scammers send out a message like the one below.
That may look like an innocent .wav file containing nothing more than an audio message. But open it up and that could be the end of your computer. If sent to a company or government office and five or six people fall for the trick, your whole system could be locked up in a matter of minutes. Actually, it only takes one person clicking to get it onto a network.
As always, prevention is the best (and sometimes only) cure. Be very careful what you click on. And if you have a company or organization, make sure you remind people over and over and over again to watch what they click.