Facebook and LinkedIn users, beware! A hacker is presently spreading a ransom-ware (a malware that locks people’s documents and asks them to pay a ransom). If infected by this malware, the user must pay a whopping $365 — please don’t convert it to Naira — before he can assess his files again.
The ransom-ware, which was reported to have first infected MS Word, has moved to Facebook and LinkedIn. And because Facebook campaigns (i.e Facebook sponsored ads) reach more users than a standard Facebook post, Locky, the ransom-ware originator, is using them as tools to make the malware spread fast.
How Locky Ransom-ware Works
This malware infects pictures on social media, and this is how it works: When a user clicks on thumbnail of an infected picture, instead of the picture to show the image online on the social media, it automatically downloads the picture.
If you are familiar with how pictures load on Facebook, you will know this is not a norm.
So to be on the safe side, if any image automatically downloads itself while you are trying to open it online, don’t open the downloaded image. Use SHIFT + DELETE key to permanently delete the file.
Check Point, the security company to first discover this ransom-ware, claimed it has reported it to Facebook and LinkedIn. Let hope these two social network giants respond to this vulnerability and save us from danger trap.
While we await a fix, I advise that for the love of your precious documents, don’t open any file that automatically downloads to your computer.