Police and Cyber ​​Security Agency warn of ransomware as Windows OS update

SINGAPORE – Police and the Singapore Cyber ​​Security Agency (CSA) have jointly warned of a ransomware variant that masquerades as an update to the Windows operating system.

The fake update locks victims’ data and then demands a ransom from those who inadvertently download it.

Called Magniber, it gives attackers access to victims’ personal data, such as details of their bank accounts and social media accounts, which attackers can then use to steal money or impersonate them. victims.

Downloading it via fake Windows OS update link, pop-up advertisement or email file from unknown sender leads to the display of a ransom note.

Attackers demand payment in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin if victims want to regain access to their data.

Attackers can also access photos and videos stored in victims’ devices, which can in turn be exploited to scam or extort money from victims.

In the most egregious cases, attackers could even remotely take control of their victims’ devices.

Police and CSA said members of the public should be wary of ransomware and ensure their mobile phones, computers and other devices are regularly updated with the latest operating system versions from official and verified sources. .

Users should install anti-virus applications that can detect and remove malware, and regularly back up their data to a separate, offline system that remains accessible even during a ransomware attack.

They should also avoid clicking on pop-up ads or opening files from unknown senders.

Police and CSA said they do not recommend paying the ransom as it does not guarantee that the data will be decrypted as promised and will also encourage attackers to continue their criminal activities.

Victims should file a police report immediately and can visit this website to check if there are any decryptors readily available as a possible solution.

The Magniber ransomware variant first started on Internet Explorer, before spreading through other internet browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Chrome late last year and this year.

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