As a new year begins, so does a new threat to your data. A new strain of ransomware (malicious code that demands money to allow you to access your files again) has been spotted in the wild.
This new attack is particularly alarming, as it is based on an easy-to-use bit of code that has been made available to anyone that cares to look for it. While writers of this sort of compromise usually keep the code to themselves, the authors of this nasty have gone for a different approach. They are selling access to this code to anyone that wants it in return for a 25% cut of the money made from the ransom demands.
The good news here, however, is that the method of infection hasn't changed. In the cases that have been spotted so far, attacks were attempted using emails with dodgy attachments. Nothing new, and hopefully something that everyone is already primed to be vigilant for.
Of course, it only takes a momentary lapse of concentration to slip up and open something you shouldn't. As always, alongside vigilance, our advice is to ensure you ALWAYS have a non-local backup (i.e. stored on a drive that isn't plugged into your machine or your network) of all of your important data.