NEW ONLINE THREAT: Zepto Ransomware

Published: 29 July 2016

The new version of ransomware, Zepto virus, has struck businesses around the globe locking up computer files for ransom. Customers are strongly advised to remain vigilant when opening any attachment from unknown sources.

According to business-reporter.co.uk, in UK there were more ransomware infections in February 2016 than there were in the first six months of 2015. Moreover, the cyber insurance company Beazley expects ransomware attacks to increase by 250 per cent over the course of 2016.

Zepto, the latest form of ransomware, has emerged rapidly, distributing 137,731 spam emails in only four days at the beginning on July, according to Cisco. It uses a compressed ‘.Zip’ archive which includes a malicious JavaScript file. Once a user have fully downloaded the file, the machine begins encrypting all local files and demands ransom, which can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds, payable by Bitcoin to decrypt the files.

The body of the emails generally urge users to look at “requested” documentation, while the name of the attached .zip file is created by combining your name and a random number such as “pdf_copy-john_461397.”

It is advised to take precautions when browsing the web and dealing with newly received emails. Customers should avoid clicking, opening or forwarding any attachments from people or companies they aren’t expecting attachments from. There are also key steps that can be taken at a business IT level, including ensuring all computers are running up-to-date anti-virus software and introducing regular backups.

Zepto ransomware is very new but as it is a form of Locky ransomware, there is currently no way of decrypting the encrypted files.

If you’re concerned that backups aren’t in place or functioning correctly, contact us today via [email protected].

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