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Ransomware (that is, malware that encrypts the files on your hard disk and demands a ransom) is an increasing threat to all computers. For the Cryptowall ransomware alone the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 992 complaints between April 2014 and June 2015 with total estimated losses of $18 million. However, it’s a particular threat to small businesses, who may have mission critical data on a single computer without adequate backup.
So says the Cloudmark’s latest Threat Report for 2015 Q2.
In late May, Cloudmark detected spam attack containing a Ransomware loader in a fake resume – it was detected in 14 countries on five continents.The sample of the attack, taken by Cloudmark, saw 84 per cent was hitting the US, however we saw spam hitting Netherlands, Australia, UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic and Belgium. Ransomware encrypts the content of a victim’s hard drive, holds the files hostage until they pay a ransom – usually bitcoins from $400-plus, the IT firm says.
Spammers are also going as far as creating their own shortners – misleading users into following corrupt shortened links that lead to fake websites that request confidential personal or financial information that they can then use. By creating the fake landing page and even the fake shortened link, which may look like a public URL shortener, users are duped into clicking what they presume is a reputable link. The report points to abuse of cheap domain names and predicts that those relating to diet and health could be next.