[Taken from IT Security News and the news.com.au website]

Further to my warning a few weeks ago about the Ransomware Trojan / Virus which could cripple your entire network, here’s a serious warning just published in IT Security Reports I subscribe to, as well as on some news sites.

Note that this warning / heads up is also valid to your Personal / Home computers.

It explains in plain layman’s terms how easy (through a momentary lapse in concentration when dealing with email) you could bring your computer and network to it’s knees with a simple click of your mouse button.

Take note of the detailed explanation below and “ALWAYS” be careful and vigilant when opening email(s) or clicking on attachments.

Fair warning. ignore at your own peril..

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Watch out for this costly hoax from ‘Microsoft’

A FAKE Microsoft email containing a malicious virus is scamming unsuspecting Windows users.

Tech giant Cisco has warned that the threatening actor is impersonating Microsoft in order to hack users’ files and demand a ransom.

It comes as users are eagerly awaiting their turn to receive Microsoft’s latest upgrade, Windows 10. The trick email appears to come from the official company, using the address “update@microsoft.com”. You can imagine why someone might fall for this scam if they’re in a rush.

It all starts with an email that shows up in your inbox. If you only give it a quick glance, it looks innocent enough:

 

If you look carefully, you’ll notice mangled characters and some grammatical errors in the body of text. A closer look at the IP address reveals that the sender is actually based in Thailand.

The fake email also includes a sneaky disclaimer assuring the content is virus-free, similar to one a user might expect from Microsoft.

Users who download the file, extract and run the content are greeted with a message like this:

 

  • And boom! Just like that, you’ve lost access to all your precious files and have exactly four days to fork out your savings.
  • Keep in mind that a notification of your reserved copy of Windows 10 will automatically appear on your PC. It will NOT be distributed via email.
  • How can you defend yourself against ransomware?
  • Back up your data frequently
  • Store your backups offline (such as with an external hard drive) to prevent being targeted
  • Be extra careful when a major technology upgrade has been recently launched, as this is often how adversaries target users
  • Do not trust anything associated with a spam email
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date

Always use common sense while online, especially when downloading new files.

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