SECURITY ALERT: Nozelesn Ransomware

Nozelesn ransomware is a virus created to ensnare unsuspecting email users and extort money from these victims. Nozelesn began around July 1st, 2018 and is currently in distribution.

Security researchers have stated that Nozelesn can spread via spam emails with fake DHL invoices. Once infiltrated, the malware checks for video, image, audio, database, and other personal files and encrypts them. Victims will first become aware of Nozelesn when they discover that their files are unusable, with the extension .nozelesn added to each file. A ransom note demanding payment via Bitcoin (about $650+ as of this writing) is included, with promises to decrypt the files within ten days of payment.

DO NOT PAY CYBER CRIMINALS!

Security Alert

There are a number of reasons not to cooperate with cyber criminals:

  1. Payment directly funds hackers' efforts to develop more advanced, sophisticated means of developing ransomware
  2. There is absolutely no guarantee that the hackers will ever give you the decryption key (to date, NO victims of Nozelesn have seen their files released)
  3. Once you've ponied up the funds to decrypt your files, you may be targeted again because you've demonstrated that you are willing to pay

Your best strategy is to remove the Nozelesn virus, then proceed with alternative data recovery methods, such as a recent backup on an external drive. You should also update your system, change passwords and usernames on the infected computer(s.) For assistance with any of these recommendations, please reach out to us.

How To Stay Safe(r) Online

In addition to regularly backing-up your data, there are a few things you can do to prevent becoming a victim of ransomware.

  • Backup, Backup, Backup!
  • Never open email attachments from unknown senders. If you feel suspicious about attachments or links sent by trusted sources, DO NOT click on them.
  • Keep all software on your computer and portable devices up-to-date to minimize the risk of vulnerabilities.
  • Use complex passwords and never reuse the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Did we mention backups? When backing-up your data, use an external drive that is not connected to your network. If your back-up files are on an external device connected to the network, that device will also be vulnerable to infection.

If you would like to learn more about ransomware and email phishing, and how the online threat landscape has evolved, please visit our blog post on Internet Security

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