This New Ransomware Is Even Harder To Detect
Never open attachments from strangers. Really, just never do it
Ransomware, which costs some states hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and is only becoming more widespread, varies enormously in how it’s deployed. The end result, though, is always an attempt to encrypt a computer’s files, plus a promise that the only way get them back is to pay a bounty to the hacker behind it. Often, ransomware arrives via email, and installs itself when the recipient opens an attachment, which could be a malicious executable file, a type of virus, or even a Microsoft Word doc containing a macro—basically a script that can be run within Microsoft, but which can be programmed to operate maliciously outside of Word.
Though it may seem obvious that you shouldn’t open even a document emailed to you by either a stranger or someone whose email seems suspicious, email phishing is still a devastatingly effective practice. In a 2015 survey that showed 10 suspicious emails to 19,000 subjects, only 3 percent of them correctly identified each of the phishing attempts.