Users beware: a new ransomware is on the loose! After nearly a month without any new releases of the Cryptovirus type – which is a pretty long time in the security sector – it turns out this was just the calm before the storm. In the past 24 hours two brand new ransomware strains were unleashed. We already mentioned the .Shit File Virus Ransomware in our previous post, but it was quickly followed by another member of the Locky family, called .Thor File Virus, less than 24 hours later.
As Locky is arguably the most feared ransomware family due to the massive scale of its operations, this new .Thor File Virus is promising to be another one of the world’s biggest cyber threats. The encryption this virus applies is just as strong, as you would expect, affecting all of your most commonly utilized files. The victim is then left with a whole bunch of inaccessible data, all ending with a .thor file extension. The amount the criminals behind this extortion scheme demand from users to pay as a ransom is the same as it has been with the last few ransomware variants of this type: half a bitcoin, which at the time of this article being written is the rough equivalent of 325 USD.
As with its predecessors, the .Thor File Virus Ransomware mostly infects through spam e-mails. Be on the lookout for messages from unfamiliar or suspicious senders and be especially weary of those containing attachments. The preferred attachment file types the hackers rely on, are WS and JS. Opening these contaminated files, regardless of the pretense, will result in the automatic download of the ransomware. The encryption .Thor Virus puts on machines is with almost no discernable symptoms, which is one of the main factors responsible for this ransomware’s extremely high threat level.
We urge users to be very careful with any incoming email correspondence and not trust anything that comes from an unfamiliar source. If you happen to have opened a message containing the above file types, it is our strongest recommendation to outright delete the email without opening the attachments. As for those users who have already fallen victim to .Thor File Virus, we advise you not comply with the criminals’ demands. This is more or less the exact equivalent of funding the hackers and their blackmailing scheme, which has by now turned into a multi-million dollar business. Stay tuned for additional security information.