Ransomware Scam is Just That – A Scam
A new ransomware scam was recently discovered, where hackers are now demanding payment prior to infecting the user’s device. The hackers have been sending out emails claiming they are going to infect the user’s device on a specific date. Once the infection takes place, the data will be completely irretrievable. According to the cyber criminal’s threats, this can all be avoided by paying .1 bitcoin, or approximately $650.
With ransomware as-a-service being so cheap and easy to obtain, it is entirely possible that these threats could be legitimate. It is also possible most antivirus solutions will not be able to block it from executing if it hasn’t been proven malicious yet.
Below you can see a snippet of the email, provided by Becker’s Hospital Review.
“We have improved operation of our program, so you will not be able to regain the data after the attack. Antivirus software will not be able to detect our program, while firewalls will be strengthless against our unique code.”
To date, this ransomware scam has been just that. A scam. Hackers have not followed through with their threats of deploying the malicious code.
However, to ensure your data and devices remain secure, PC Matic encourages users to do the following:
- Think before you click. If you don’t know the sender of the email or aren’t expecting an email from the business/person, be wary of what the attachments included. If you’re ever uncertain — do NOT open the email. Instead, call the business/person and determine if the email is legitimate.
- Keep all of your operating systems and third-party applications updated.
- Implement an application whitelisting approach. PC Matic’s customers remain secure from this threat using our default-deny protection. No matter how new the ransomware sample is, a whitelist approach only allows known trusted programs to execute — meaning, any new unknown malicious files will be blocked.
- Take part in cyber security training. PC Matic customers are offered free cyber security training from KnowBe4. If you’re a PC Matic customer, you may reach out to our support team at www.pcmatic.com/help to obtain the login credentials — otherwise, it is also included in your Welcome to PC Matic email.
- Backup your systems timely