Spade Technology: Blog

Ransomware Roundup for the First Quarter of 2016

Ransomware has been on a digital rampage through the first quarter of 2016. A number of different strains of this malware have infected computers in offices and homes throughout the world. Even the FBI is getting involved by publicizing repeated warnings about the growing ransomware threat.


Ransomware Strains

Four new ransomware strains have emerged in the first quarter of 2016. The first, MM Locker ransomware, debuted in early March. By the middle of March, CryptFlle2 had reared its ugly head. The ROI Locker / Manamecrypt ransomware appeared in the first couple of weeks of April. Fast forward to the middle of the month and BrLock ransomware emerged. Unfortunately, these strains appear to be merely the tip of the iceberg. These are merely the newest variants of the overarching ransomware that is wreaking havoc on computers around the world. As the number of new strains continues to increase, the odds of private individuals as well as businesses being affected will only go up. There are even copycat actors attempting to replicate these strains with their own unique twists. From new code platforms to new attack vectors, the number of ways for ransomware to infiltrate computers just seems to keep expanding.

New Versions of Ransomware are not Necessarily Stronger

Thankfully, these new ransomware strains are not drastically stronger than the previous incarnations. Many are highly flawed in design and implementation. Those who have specialized in the research and analysis of malware have already uncovered critical weaknesses in most of these new strains. Some malware experts have created decryption keys that permit users to pry their files loose from the hijackers. Yet the existence of a burgeoning black market for ransomware makes it unlikely that this nasty malware will disappear any time soon. This version of malware is so popular and lucrative that it is generating attraction from the notorious “malware mafias” who compete with one another for malware market share. Dare to take a look at the world wide web’s “underground” message boards and you will find that there are numerous ads posted for ransomware.

Spread the Word About Ransomware

Ransomware decryption tools will only combat certain strains of this unique malware. Eventually, hackers will devise a new version of the malware that finds its way around anti-virus defenses and into your computer. Be proactive and let your co-workers know about the existence of ransomware. If they understand that this malware can hijack their computers and demand a ransom payment for a return of control, they will be less inclined to perform risky digital behaviors. The bottom line is that ransomware causes extensive downtime, intellectual property theft and a dramatic drop in workplace productivity. You can lean on our IT professionals to perform thorough security awareness training to help your staff pinpoint the signs of ransomware attacks.

What to do if Your Computer is Infected With Ransomware

If your computer has been infected with ransomware, do not panic! Reach out to your IT support team for assistance. Our IT experts know all the latest methods for malware prevention and elimination. Our team can identify the exact ransomware strain that has infiltrated your computer. We will implement the proper decryption tools in an attempt to recover your files. Our team will also reinforce the security of your network to ward off future attacks.

Our IT Professionals can Help you Prevent and Mitigate Ransomware Damage

Spade Technology is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news. Contact us at (508) 332-4849 or send us an email at for more information.