Microsoft alerts holiday shoppers of phishing email carrying Cerber ransomware

Christmas is here and like every year we have loads of shopping to do. With digital payment being the prime method of payment these days, cyber crime has increased manifold times. A new cyber attack misuses Microsoft’s name and is convincing users to get into trap easily. Hence, Microsoft is alerting and warning users of the new phishing technique. While online shopping or making digital payment, we cannot keep track of our expenditure instantly just like we can do for offline payments. So, we usually depend on bank statements, credit card statements or net banking statements that are sent to our email ID from the bank.

The new phishing method is utilizing the same thing with the help of Cerber Ransomware. An email is being sent to the victim, which apparently is a credit card statement or something like that. It starts mentioning about a product purchase of huge amount which you haven’t done. An attachment is also sent to you which bears a fake Microsoft logo and appears to be a protected document. Now out of anxiety, users end up following the instructions written in the email in order to unlock the protected document. A sense of emergency and fear often intrigues people to make wrong decisions. The Cerber Ransomware mails do exactly the same thing. The only way to unlock the protected document is to pay 1.3 bitcoins, which is equal to roughly $1000.

Users who are not aware of this, must be alert and remember that such emails are not to be entertained at any cost. A research team is working on curbing this petrifying menace. “The email itself is crude and shows almost no attempt to feign legitimacy,” the researchers explained. “It contains some typographical errors, such as the missing number between the dollar sign and the comma in our sample. Also, users who are careful enough will likely notice that the sender address does not match the signatory.”

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