The Indian government has issued alert warning citizens of the spread of a ransomware called Locky. The ransomware spreads via spam emails and 2.3 lakh infected messages are believed to have been sent by those behind the campaign.

The alert, issued on Cyber Swachhta Kendra, said it has been reported that a new wave of spam mails is circulating with common subject lines to spread variants of Locky Ransomware.

“Alert regarding spam spreading Locky ransomware issued today by @IndianCERT…,” Electronics and IT Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar tweeted.

Over 23 million infected e-mails filled with dangerous malware were sent in the space of just 24 hours this week to the US workforce on Monday (August 28).

The e-mails have vague subjects such as “please print”, “photo”, “documents” and “images” among other titles. However, the subject texts may change in targeted spear phishing campaigns. The messages also come with a ZIP file attached to it, and if you see any such messages from a suspicious looking e-mail address do not click on it.

According to a report by US researchers, the malware payload was hidden in a zip file containing a Visual Basic Script (VBS) file, which once clicked, will download the latest version of Locky ransomware- the recently spotted Lukitus variant- and encrypts all the files on the infected computer.

The cybercriminals through this ransomware can lock you out of your computer and demand ransom for unlocking them. Ransomware is a malicious software and the Locky Ransomware is learnt to be demanding ransom of half bitcoin, which at present rate is equivalent to £1,862 or over Rs 1.5 lakh.

The ransomware was once considered almost defunct.

Researchers at US-based cybersecurity firm AppRiver, who discovered the new campaign touted it as “one of the largest malware campaigns in the latter half of 2017”.



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