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Friday 25.05.2018 | Name days: Junora, Anšlavs

Residents warned about possible wave of new ransom viruses

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDevelopers of eScan anti-virus software warn about new ransom viruses that were possible created using ‘Shark’ malicious software. This malicious software or RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) is available free of charge on the Internet.

Shark allows inexperienced hackers and cyber criminals to create individual ransom viruses even if they have very little technical knowledge or none at all. In addition, this malware allegedly uses quick encryption system, supports multiple languages and cannot be picked up by anti-virus programmes.

«What is interesting is that this ransom virus creation kit is made available on a public server, which is unusual for cyber criminals. It is more common for such programmes to be uploaded on anonymous networks to avoid detection,» – explains eScan anti-virus software distributor Baltimax regional manager Sergei Romanovskis.

Malware created using Shark can be identified with their function to create encrypted Microsoft registry entry with .pdf, .doc, .xls and other files with added .locked extension. Victims are asked to pay ransom upon activation. The virus offers instructions translated in 30 languages on how to carry out ransom payment. The virus asks the victim to input an e-mail address and then pay the ransom to the address sent to that e-mail.

According to eScan experts, success of such viruses depends on its chosen form of distribution – some criminals send e-mail messages containing ransom viruses, others use fraudulent websites and social networks. This is why experts are concerned that a large number of users may become victims of a new wave of ransom viruses.

«When facing any kind of ransom virus, users are urged not to pay the ransom. Instead, users should search for special tools that will help decrypt the files held hostage by such viruses,» – Romanovskis recommends.

Security experts recommend using anti-virus programmes, perform regular updates of their operating systems and their used software, especially Java and Adobe. It is also recommended to only download software from official distributors’ websites. Users are urged not to open suspicious files received from unknown senders. It is also recommended to create backup copies of important files.

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