Spike in ransomware attacks as malicious code spreads

Security firm reveals that ransomware accounted for a quarter of the threats aimed at UK computer users over the past week.

| 29th Apr 16

Security firm ESET has revealed that ransomware accounted for a quarter of the threats aimed at UK computer users over the past week.

The data, extracted by the firm’s LiveGrid telemetry, highlights that there has been a spike in ransomware attacks that attempt to seize control of targeted machines and lock users out or destroy data if they do not pay a fee. This is due to the malicious code called JS/Danger.ScriptAttachment, which downloads and installs various malware. One particular threat – Telsacrypt – aims to encrypt data and demand payment for it to be decrypted.


Email caution

Ondrej Kubovic, ESET IT security specialist, said: “To reach as many potential victims as possible, attackers are spamming inboxes in various parts of the world. Therefore, users should be very cautious about which messages they open.

“If an email comes from an unknown sender or its contents are not expected, it should be deleted. Companies should also train employees to report similar incidents to their internal security departments.”

ESET is also reminding organisations reliable security software should be installed, operating systems kept up to date and sensitive data backed up.