Stop me if you think you have heard this one before – there’s a new form of ransomware called BadRabbit that is disguised as an update for Adobe Flash Player and which is infecting computers around the world.
Once it infects a computer, it locks the user out of their machine and demands a ransom payment in the form of Bitcoin.
Cyber attacks using BadRabbit first began in Russia on Tuesday, before spreading around the world.
Kaspersky reports the attack has so far predominantly targeted media and news organisations in Russia, mainland Europe, the United States and Japan and also caused flight delays in at Odessa airport in Ukraine.
The attack goes something like this: unsuspecting victims are tricked into downloading and installing a fake update for Adobe Flash, which actually contains the ransomware.
Once installed it encrypts all their files so they are unable to access them.
It then demands a ransom payment of 0.05 Bitcoin (approx Bt10,000) to unlock the files.
Adobe Flash Player has often been used by cyber criminals and hackers to spread malware, either by finding security vulnerabilities in the software or, as in the case of BadRabbit, to disguise the malware as some kind of update to the much maligned software, which is set to be killed off in 2020.
BadRabbit has so far been mainly targeting news and media organisations and the threat to regular users seems to be minimal, however, that could quickly change.
There are a number of ways users can protect themselves in the even the BadRabbit cyber attack escalates
How to protect against BadRabbit ransomware
- Make sure you have up to date antivirus software installed on your device.
- Make sure you are running the latest version of your operating system with the most recent security patches installed.
- Be vigilant for any suspicious emails that suddenly appear in your inbox, especially those containing links or attachments.
- Ignore any prompts to update Adobe Flash Player
- Back up your data
- If your computer is infected, don’t pay the ransom
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.