Have you received an email threatening you or your firm with a ransomware attack?
If so, you may want to think twice before panicking, or paying the scammers threatening to lock down your files. A new phishing email is making the rounds trying to squeeze a little bit of Bitcoin out of anyone with more paranoia than sense.
Details of the Racket
Basically, as pointed out by Forbes, the scammers are trying to capitalize on the success of the WannaCry ransomware hack that plagued individuals and businesses last year.
Users receive an email from the "WannaCry Hack Team" or something similar. That email threatens the reader to pay 0.1 Bitcoin, or face the wrath of a ransomware virus that has already been installed, and will travel to every computer you touch, if you don't pay. Fortunately, the threat is bogus.
But the scammers are playing a numbers game here, as all phishing scams do. The number of people who have paid the extortion amount is unknown, but it seems likely that at least a few people will fall or have already fallen for it. After all, the WannaCry hack caused millions of dollars in losses.
Always the Right Time to Update Cybersecurity
There really isn't a wrong time to update your cybersecurity. If you've recently suffered a cyber-security scare, or received a strange threatening email, like the one mentioned above, it's probably not a bad idea to take a few minutes to make sure your cybersecurity is both up to date, and working. Also, check that your backup is current, working properly, and actually backing up what you need backed up.
Fortunately, for those of you concerned about the WannaCry ransomware hack, the solution is as easy as updating your outdated Microsoft Office XP. Microsoft patched the exploit used by the real WannaCry virus almost immediately, leaving only the people who failed to update at risk.