Users are being warned to be on the lookout for suspicious emails following the discovery of a major new ransomware campaign.
Security experts say they have discovered that more 24 million emails infected with the dangerous Locky ransomware have been sent out by cybercriminals in the past few days.
The emails include very vague subject lines such as “images”, “please print” and “photo”, among others.
Attached to the email is a ZIP file which should not be opened under any circumstances. The file contains the Locky ransomware and if opened will infect your computer.
Once the Locky ransomware has taken control of your computer it encrypts all of your files and demands a ransom in order to release them. The ransom this time round is 0.5 bitcoins, which is around US$2,345.
This latest malware campaign was discovered by AppRiver who say it is one of the largest they have seen in 2017
“In the past 24 hours we have seen over 23 million messages sent in this attack, making it one of the largest malware campaigns that we have seen in the latter half of 2017,” the firm said in a blog post.
“There currently are no publicly shared methods to reverse this Locky strain,” AppRiver warned.
Locky is one of the most dangerous and successful forms of ransomware there is.
It first surfaced in 2016 but is now making a resurgence in this latest attack.
If you receive an email that looks similar to the ones detailed above the advice is to delete it immediately.
If your computer becomes infected with ransomware, the advice from security experts is to never pay the ransom.
Instead, employ preventative measures such as always making sure your computer is running up to date versions of operating systems and antivirus software and never open suspicious looking emails.
The warning over the Locky ransomware comes after 711 million emails were found to have been leaked online this week by a spambot.
The breach, which is believed to be the largest of its kind also saw passwords to online accounts leaked.
More information on how you can check if your email address has been compromised can be found here.