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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Ransomware – The Next Generation

21 June 2016 by Jenn Granger

Humans are always evolving – we invented the wheel, we went digital, and I’m pretty sure that Game of Thrones is about as good as TV’s going to get for us. Unfortunately, malware evolves too, and – just like the big creep that it is – it’s always coming up with easier ways to get its grubby little mitts on your data. Ransomware has already been on the radar of late as a threat that’s on the rise, and now there’s a new generation in town too. Oh good.

Ransomware javascript

Ransomware is a particularly delightful type of malware that locks your computer or encrypts your files so that you can’t access them. It then demands money in exchange for the decryption key so that you can unlock the files or system. It’s becoming a pretty serious contender in the malware world, with recent figures suggesting that about a quarter of all malware is now ransomware flavoured.

And the good news just keeps on coming, as security researchers have now found a potential new strain of ransomware called RAA that’s coded in the programming language Javascript, which could make it even easier to get into your computer.

This is because – unlike ‘executable’ programmes where you need to actively click a link or run a programme – it doesn’t need that level of permission. Researchers said it might come in the format of an attached document which is confusing people, understandably. It’s coming at you by email and asking for about £171 to get your files back.

Previously ransomware was deployed in a few different ways – a key one being phishing emails, which is when an email that looks like it’s legit asks you to click on a link that deploys malware or takes you to a fake site and asks for your details.

Paying up for ransomware only encourages attackers, but unfortunately once they’ve nabbed the decryption key there’s not much you can do. So, preventative is best.

Unfortunately there’s not loads you can do to stop ransomware, but it’s always really important to be careful what you click on – even if it’s addressed to you or from a trusted source – and especially, in this instance, if it’s a .js file indicating that it’s Javascript. You can also instruct Windows not to start the “Windows Based Script Host” when a .js file is double-clicked, which is what triggers the ransomware.

The other key thing is to ensure that you’re backing up your system because that’ll really bamboozle the suckers; then when they try and waggle your data in your face to taunt you, you’ll be all like ”oh sorry I’ve already backed this up in a separate, safe location so I’m good thanks!”.

Take a look at our security solutions on our website or give us a call on 0208 045 4945 for more information.