Story image

Check Point uncovers new ransomware threat using images and social media

30 Nov 16

Security researchers from Check Point have identified a new attack vector named ImageGate.

According to the research, the vector embeds malware in image and graphic files, executing the code via social media applications like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Check Point researchers claim the entire security industry is closely following the massive spread of the Locky ransomware, particularly in its Facebook-based campaign.

They strongly believe that the new ImageGate technique reveals how this campaign was made possible, a question which has been unanswered until now.

With the Locky ransomware, once users download and open the malicious file they receive – all the files on their personal device are automatically encrypted and they can only gain access to them after the ransom is paid.

Oded Vanumu, head of Check Point’s Products Vulnerability Research, says that as more people spend time on social networking sites, hackers have turned their focus to find a way in to these platforms.

“Cyber criminals understand these sites are usually ‘white listed’, and for this reason, they are continually searching for new techniques to use social media as hosts for their malicious activities,” says Vanumu.

“To protect users against the most advanced threats, Check Point researchers strive to identify where attackers will strike next.”

In order to stay protected, Check Point recommends not to open images you have clicked on that start downloading and not to open image files with an unusual extension - such as SVG, JS or HTA.

Stepping up to sell security services in A/NZ
WatchGuard Technologies A/NZ regional director gives his top tips on how to make a move into the increasingly lucrative cybersecurity services market.
Huawei founder publically denies spying allegations
“After all the evidence is made public, we will rely on the justice system.”
Chch crypto-exchange Cryptopia suffers breach
Cryptopia has reportedly experienced a security breach that has taken the entire platform offline – and resulted in ‘significant losses’.
IoT breaches: Nearly half of businesses still can’t detect them
The Internet of Thing’s (IoT’s) rapid rise to prominence may have compromised its security, if a new report from Gemalto is anything to go by.
Carbon Black: What does cybersecurity have in store for 2019?
Tom Kellerman has shared five insights for the year ahead, including a particularly bold one.
Hands-on review: The Ekster Wallet protects your cards against RFID attacks
For some time now, I’ve been protecting my credit cards with tinfoil. The tinfoil hat does attract a lot of comments, but thanks to Ekster, those days are now happily behind me.
Report on SingHealth breach condemns poor security practices
The 2018 Singapore SingHealth data breach was poorly managed and riddled with vulnerabilities from the start.
Tesla wants people to hack its Model 3
Tesla is offering white hat hackers what could be the chance of a lifetime – the opportunity to hack one of its Model 3 vehicles.