Security Alert: Karma Ransomware Hides In SW Downloads

Security blog, Graham Cluley posted yesterday that researchers discovered that Karma ransomware is piggybacking on free internet downloads.

Once downloaded onto your PC, Karma checks to see if it is running on a virtual machine. If it is, it terminates itself but if it detects that it is running on a physical machine it encrypts hundreds of file types on all drives, including network drives. Upon completion, affected files are appended with the .karma extension and the program displays its ransom note.

Be careful of what you’re downloading:

  • Often times, cheap or free software coming from untrusted websites are not vetted.
  • Additionally, when installing legitimate programs, always be mindful of any bundled software. You usually have the option to opt out of downloading them—so, do it and save yourself some heartache.
  • Don’t rely on your anti-virus (AV) program to catch infected files. AV programs often do not detect brand new malware, called zero day exploits. Just so you know, many of the newer ransomware variants have the ability to modify their behavior to bypass AV detection.
  • ALWAYS have a verified, up-to-date backup of your data so you can recover should you get infected or you’ll be forced to pay the ransom to get it back.

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