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New Ransomware Replicates Itself Says Microsoft

By June 6, 2016March 2nd, 2023Blog, Cybersecurity

new_ransomware_replicates_itself_says_microsoftYou’ve probably seen the joke email before. Something to the effect of, “If you don’t forward this message to six people within twenty-four hours, your teeth will fall out, your car will break down, and all the files on your computer will be deleted.”

Ransomware isn’t quite to that level yet, but it’s getting awfully close. Microsoft warned recently of a new strain of ransomware that not only locks and encrypts all your files, but also actively hides itself from the user, and can make copies of itself, so that it can spread to other machines via flash and network-connected drives.

When the software is unwittingly installed onto a user’s PC, it will scan for the presence of any flash/network drives and automatically copy itself to any that it finds, which really moves the needle in terms of threat level. Until now, as bad as ransomware is, all we’ve seen it do is infect a single machine. If these reports are accurate, and there’s no reason to think that they aren’t, it gives ransomware the ability to spread more like a virus, which means that a single impacted machine could put every computer on your network at risk.

The new strain of the software goes by the name “ZCryptor,” and in its current form, charges the infected user 1.2 BitCoin (about $500 USD) to decrypt their files. The price goes to 5 BitCoin if the ransom hasn’t been paid in four days, and after a week, the files are simply eliminated.

Microsoft advises any infected user to restore from backup, rather than paying the ransom, but the company seems skeptical of its own advice, given that some strains of ransomware also have the ability to delete backups, making such a restoration impossible.

If you are concerned about ransomware, our team can help. We can come up with a robust backup and security solution that can help prevent or recover from infection. Feel free to reach out to our team for more information.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.