New Forms Of Windows And Linux Ransomware Emerge

September 01, 2016

New Forms Of Windows And Linux Ransomware Emerge

By Chris Brunau

An ominous new strain of ransomware with an equally ominous name has surfaced. Fantom ransomware is disguised as a Windows update to dupe unsuspecting victims.

BleepingComputer notes that Fantom ransomware has two unique attributes. It preys on people’s fear of cyber attacks in order to infect their computer. Additionally, to disguise their attack, a fake download progress window pops up to divert the user’s attention and allow the ransomware to infiltrate the infected computer.

According to Yahoo News, once Fantom is downloaded, the infected computer executes a file called WindowsUpdate.exe. This disguised file tricks the user into installing the ‘update’ whilst they are actually infecting their computer and unintentionally encrypting their data.

Fantom doesn’t demand a specific ransom amount in Bitcoin, but instead instructs the infected user to contact an email address for further instructions on how to retrieve their files.

Currently, the infection method has not been determined, but the suspected vehicle is phishing emails. (Want to learn how to spot and avoid phishing emails? We’ve got you covered.)

FairWare Ransomware

Unfortunately, there’s more. When it comes to new ransomware strains making headlines, Fantom is not alone. Fairware is potentially putting millions of Linux users at risk. FairWare has taken a slightly new approach to the ransomware method, by immediately deleting folders and then demanding a ransom to restore the files instead of the customary method of encrypting files and demanding a ransom to regain access.

FairWare infects servers, often resulting in downed websites supported by Linux servers. After being hit with FairWare, the ransom note instructs the victim to send two Bitcoins within two weeks to retrieve the encrypted files.

To better prepare yourself on how to survive ransomware attacks like Fantom and FairWare, download our eBook: The Business Guide To Ransomware. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the common types of ransomware, how they are spread, and the best practices to protect businesses from this critical threat. Check it out today. 

Also, we recently put together a video highlighting exactly how bad the ransomware epidemic is, check it out below.

To learn even more about all things ransomware, head over to our ransomware page.


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