A phishing email that broadcasts your address has been causing a stir over the past week. The email in question links to a particularly dangerous form of ransomware.

A BBC Radio 4 reporter that was one of the thousands to receive the ransomware email last Wednesday stated that the postal address they provided was “exact”.

“When I say exact I mean, not the way my address is written by those autofill sections on web pages, but the way I write my address,” said the reporter.

What happens when you click on the email link?

In short, the malware encrypts victims’ files and demands a ransom be paid before they can be unlocked.

The phishing email tells recipients they owe hundreds of pounds to UK businesses and that they can print an invoice by clicking on a link – but that leads to malware, explained Andrew Brandt of US security firm Blue Coat.

Maktub’s distinguishing factor is that it doesn’t just demand money, it actually increases the ransom demand the longer you take to pay it.

On the first day, recipients are asked to pay roughly £406 worth of Bitcoin. By day three, that leaps up to around £554.

“This is the desktop version of a smash and grab – they want a quick payoff,” claims Brandt.

Maktub is one of the various strains of the virus that has been infecting hospital servers and almost bringing care services to a halt.

If you’d like advice on bulking up your defence against ransomware attacks, get in touch on 01235 426700 or email enquiries@riverbank.co.uk