Hackers at it again, spreading ransomware via social media platforms

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There are new warnings out today concerning opening files received through social media, namely Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular among hackers and thieves as that’s where they can find targets. Sending malicious files and code via email is still a thing but social media is a would be goldmine for these individuals. There are new warnings out today concerning opening files received through social media, namely Facebook and LinkedIn. Files being sent to users through social media messengers have been found to contain the Locky Ransomware virus which basically locks you out of your computer until you pay a fee. The ransomware is being embedded in picture files and when the target opens them it executes the Locky Ransomware program. You can watch how it works in the video below.

“The attackers have built a new capability to embed malicious code into an image file and successfully upload it to the social media website,” Check Point researchers say. “The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file.”

Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) today announced its security researchers have identified a new attack vector, named ImageGate, which embeds malware in image and graphic files. Furthermore, the researchers have discovered the hackers’ method of executing the malicious code within these images through social media applications such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

In the past, Locky Ransomware was being distributed heavily via phishing emails, but since many people have gotten wise, the crooks are now targeting Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media users. We recommend never opening files being sent to you through messaging platforms unless you can absolutely verify the identity of the sender and verify that they did indeed send you a file. It’s a big bad cyber world we’re living in now and you can’t be too careful when it comes to security.

What do you think of this latest ransomware attack? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  Source: The Hacker News
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