Old Ransomware, Virlock, Spreads Through The Cloud

Two year old ransomware, Virlock, has taken on a new approach to infect more users than ever…

As technology advances, so do the cyber criminals.  Virlock, a form of ransomware, was originally founded two years ago.  However, recent reports by ZDNet have confirmed Virlock using the cloud to spread the ransomware to more users than ever.  This methodology of spreading ransomware is called “fanning out”.

To explain exactly how this works, imagine your department or family sharing files through a cloud-based storage option such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.  If one person becomes infected with Virlock, it encrypts all of their files, including the files that are shared.  Then, once another individual opens those shared files, the ransomware is installed on their PC.  This leads to their personal files becoming encrypted.

Avoiding Infection

As we all know, ransomware has become an epidemic.  New ransomware variants and attack methods are being created every single day.  How do we win this ransomware war?  First, PC users need to be educated.  This education need to be focused on red flags to look for in potential tech support and phishing scams and current cyber security threats.  Second, users need to ensure all of their endpoints are updated.  This includes applications and operating systems.  Lastly, users need to implement a security software solution that includes application whitelisting technology.  By using application whitelisting, only safe programs are able to execute, all others are blocked; which significantly decreases the risk of successful malware attacks.


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3 thoughts on “Old Ransomware, Virlock, Spreads Through The Cloud”

  1. I have pcmatic on all my computers but not on my new Amazon Fire tablet. Is my tablet at risk and if it becomes infected will the malware or ransomeware spread to my computers?

    1. Kayla Thrailkill

      All devices without a security solution installed are technically at risk. If you were to be infected, the malware should not spread to your other PCs, unless you have them synced in some way. Or, for example, your Fire is infected and then you plug it into your PC, it could potentially spread to that PC. And, if that PC is linked to your other PCs, it could continue to spread. Does that make sense? I don’t want to invoke fear — that is not my intent. But do want you to understand it is possible, depending on how you use the devices together.

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