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Beware of Ransomware!

Ransomware is a common type of malware we remove for our customers in our Lexington, KY computer repair shop.

Ransomware has become so rampant, that nearly every phishing email that gets sent today contains this form of malware.

What is ransomware you may say? It is a type of malicious software, or virus, designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

This data comes from PhishMe Inc, a provider of software defense solutions. In its latest report, it found that 97.25 percent of all phishing emails sent during Q3 of 2016 contained ransomware, up from 92 percent in Q1.

Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an email.

Three major trends were identified over the past 3 months according to the report:

Locky ransomware continues to dominate: While numerous encryption ransomware varieties have been identified in 2016, Locky has demonstrated adaptability and longevity. Locky will be remembered alongside 2013’s CryptoLocker as a top-tier ransomware tool that fundamentally altered the way security professionals view the threat landscape

Ransomware encryption: The proportion of phishing emails analyzed that delivered some form of ransomware has grown to 97.25 percent, leaving only 2.75 percent of phishing emails to deliver all other forms of malware utilities

Increase in deployment of ‘quiet malware’: PhishMe identified an increase in the deployment of remote access Trojan malware like jRAT, suggesting that these threat actors intend to remain within their victims’ networks for a long time

The other 2.75 percent of malicious software delivered included remote access Trojans, keyloggers and botnets. These still represent a significant hazard in 2016. Unlike ransomware, so-called ‘quiet malware’ is designed to avoid detection while maintaining a presence within a computer or business network for extended periods of time.

Here’s the moral of the story: Be careful what you click on! Read our Ten tips for Identifying a Phishing Email.

Has your computer has fallen victim to ransomware or other malware

Give us a call and we will get right to work on rescuing your computer. If you pay the ransom to these bad actors, there’s absolutely no guarantee they’ll remove the malware from your computer. Call or email us, and we’ll let you know what your options are.