Locky Ransomware – what is it?

Locky Ransomware – what is it?

Over the last 2 years the incidents of malware attacks in Ireland have increased dramatically, all sectors including the healthcare sector are at risk.

From our analysis Locky Ransomware is the number one ransomware malware in Ireland. Seeking out victims through spam emails. Encrypting everything from photos to documents to databases. Victims will be faced with a computer screen demanding ‘ransom’ payment.

Security products from antivirus software companies and firewall manufacturers are desperately trying to keep up with the onslaught of new ransomware being released. Cybercriminals earn millions from the ransoms of helpless business’s data. As much as we block and filter spam email, it is impossible to block 100% of what comes through.

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel with products like ESET's ransomware shield and SonicWALL’s gateway antivirus.

Until the ransomware epidemic passes, here are some steps to take to avoid infection by ransomware:

  • Never open any files or macros attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious or untrustworthy source or if you receive an attachment from someone you know unexpectedly. Delete these attachments immediately.
  • Delete Spam, chain, and other junk email without forwarding it.
  • Never download files from unknown or suspicious sources.
  • If you suspect you are infected, immediately shut down your PC and contact IT support.

All the ransomware requires is the user to download and install something. Most of the time it’s a malicious email attachment.

Warning signs of these types of emails:

  • Emails may be disguised as a fax or shipping notice. 
  • Emails may come in the form of scanner or camera suppliers e.g. <popular camera maker>
  • Emails may pretend to be a voicemail alert or invoice notice.
  • The attachments are often zip files that require a user to download and unzip.
  • Some ransomware infections begin with a “.scr” file that arrives in a “.zip” or “.cab” email attachment.
  • Make sure an internal email sender address is from a known employee.
  • The first sign of any file extensions that look unusual like .zzzzz, .locky, .zepto or .wxyz, shut down your computer and call IT support.

For more information or advice call our IT support team:
Tel: 01 276 5000

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