Locky Ransomware alert for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn users

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A Locky Ransomware alert has been issued to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn users residing all over the world. As per the alert, Users of the said social media platforms should be cautious while downloading image files that appear without pictures, as they could launch ransomware attacks on their devices.

As per the security company Check Point’s latest findings, a new “ImageGate Attack” vector has been created for the cyber crooks that are spreading Locky Ransomware.

Check Point claims that hackers are exploiting this misconfiguration vulnerability in various leading social media websites to embed ransomware code into image files. Then the malicious actors embed such images files into the social media platforms which could cause a serious damage.

Users who click on these image files discover that files on their computing devices are becoming inaccessible to them. And the only way to gain access will be to pay the demanded ransom to the hackers who are responsible for such nasty attacks.

Remember, there is no guaranty that the hacker will pass on the unlocking key as soon as you pay them the ransom. They might demand more or might never return with the key after the demanded digital currency reaches their account.

Roman Ziskin and Dikla Barda- security experts at Checkpoint discovered about the ImageGate ransomware vector very recently while carrying out a probe on the recent massive spread of Locky Ransomware.

Earlier, this year, Locky was blamed for locking numerous files at the California Hospital database. The hospital authorities had to pay $17,000 in bitcoins in order to get the unlock code for those locked files.

In the latest finding of the security experts, it was discovered that the ransomware was being spread via a facebook based campaign. And some LinkedIn users were also the victims of this attack.

Check Point alerted Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn authorities about the latest ransomware in September this year and has now released an official statement through various media resources, including us.

Pretty soon, Check Point experts Ziskin and Barda will publish a white paper on this vulnerability which puts Facebook and LinkedIn Users at risk to ransomware.

Check Point is also recommending users to avoid clicking on and downloading suspicious files that appear on web channels like social media, websites especially the ones which allow downloading free images.

The company has issued an official warning to be cautious while downloading image files and extensions ended with .svg, .js and .hta

Check Point has also issued the warning to all web services users to be cautious about Cerber ransomware which spreads primarily through spam email campaigns and exploit kits.

Experts reveal that Locky spreading hackers are demanding a default ransom payment of three bitcoins, whereas, Cerber spreading crooks are demanding as low as 0.5 bitcoins to unlock the files.

Note- The maximum ransom demand depends on the data value which has been locked by hackers.

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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