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New malware based on the Locky ransomware has been detected

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July 4, 2016

A very nasty piece of malware variant based on the older Locky ransomware has security experts very worried in the last few days.

The so-called 'Zepto Malware' has been transmitted in almost 140,000 spam messages sent over 4 days last week.

The agressive ransomware appears to have Locky's capabilities which could make it one of the more dangerous encryption lockers in circulation to date.

To be sure, Cisco malware researcher Warren Mercer says his team has found no less than 3305 unique samples among the email spam list.

"The spamming operations began Monday June 27 with approximately 4000 emails being caught within our email security appliances," Mercer says.

"The user was tricked with various subject lines as shown below and with various sender profiles such as 'CEO' or 'vice president of Sales' to further encourage the user.

"The body of the emails were generally urging the user to look at their requested documentation," asserted Mercer.

Attached malicious zip files were cleverly named based on the victim's email address, an underscore, and then a random number.

The new attack represents innovative malware but on an old vector, Mercer added, one that is gaining momentum, nevertheless.

"Our adversaries simply do not care as to what they destroy or ransom from you, they simply care about payment," he said.

Locky is a dangerous as-yet unbroken ransomware that helped the authors of the Nuclear exploit kit to score US $12 million in revenue from 1.8 million attacks cast over one month in February of this year.

Monthly income for developers sits around US $100,000. He warns businesses to keep backups of all critical data. Those should be offline or otherwise not readily accessible from machines which may be at risk from ransomware infection.

Source: Cisco.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

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