World’s biggest botnet sends 12.5 MILLION emails containing ransomware that could destroy your computer: Here’s how to spot one

Monday, November 27, 2017
By Paul Martin

Scarab malware is being sent out by Necurs, the largest email spam botnet ever
Infected files are hidden in fake scanned documents that appear to be legitimate
Once an attached 7zip is opened, malware takes over your computer and files
A text file which then pops up threatens to erase them if the ransom isn’t paid

27 November 2017

Millions of computers are at risk of infection by a virulent spam attack that threatens to destroy your files, unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom.

The Scarab malware is being distributed by Necurs, the internet’s largest email spam botnet, which has been used in a number of previous online onslaughts.

Within the first six hours of the attack 12.5 million emails had been distributed, with more than two million messages being sent out per hour at its height.

Security experts from anti-virus software company Forcepoint, based in Austin, Texas, were among the first to raise the alarm.

They found infected files were hidden in fake scanned documents which, according to the subject line of affected emails, were supposedly created using printers from a number of reputable firms.

This includes Lexmark, HP, Canon and Epson, giving the scam messages an appearance of legitimacy at first glance.
Once an attached 7zip is downloaded and opened, the malware takes over your computer and files, threatening to erase them if the ransom isn’t paid.

Top domain countries targeted in the attack are the US, UK and Australia, followed by France and Germany.
Despite its wide distribution, Scarab is detected by most anti-malware software, which means you should receive a warning about the infected files.

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