September 04, 2017


Locky Ransomware

In recent months, there appears to be an increase in the number of cyber attacks that have become a major concern for governments across the globe.

On September 3, the Indian government issued an alert on the spread of a new malware. The name of this malware is “Locky Ransomware”. This new malware is spreading through a wave of emails with attachments and can lock computers with an encryption program and demand ransom for unlocking them. The malware is learnt to be demanding ransom of half bitcoin, which at present rate is equivalent to over Rs 1.5 lakh.

The alert was issued on Cyber Swachhta Kendra. According to the alert, "Reports indicate that over 23 million messages have been sent in this campaign. The messages contain common subjects like 'please print', 'documents', 'photo', 'Images', 'scans', and 'pictures'. However, the subject texts may change in targeted spear phishing campaigns." The messages contain "zip" attachments that trick the computer into downloading the ransomware. Notably, the severity of the ransomware has been designated to be "high."

In addition, the alert stated that the system infected by Locky Ransomware gets locked or encrypted with random numbers with "extension [dot] lukitus or [dot] diablo6" and that the instructions contain installation of "a TOR browser and visiting (dot) onion sites and demanding ransom of .5 Bitcoins". To target users, spams showing links to fake dropbox websites are being used to spread the variants of this new malware.

The alert concluded that "Users are advised to exercise caution while opening e-mails and organizations are advised to deploy anti-spam solutions and update spam block lists."

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