The infamous Paradise ransomware prevalent since 2017 has reemerged with a new strategy to sneak past Windows’ defenses and infect PCs. Their new approach isn’t recognized as malicious and once the infection commences users will be locked out of their entire system. Cyber security experts believe Paradise’s new malware is still in the prototype phase, not yet in its final beastly form.

Paradise ransomeware’s new variant begins its transmission through phishing emails, generally of a commercial nature, in order to compel targets to open an IQY attachment. Internet Query Files (IQYs) are text files read by Microsoft Excel, which is why the majority of software wouldn’t block it or fly a red flag. These files however, download data from the internet, allowing the “harmless” service to turn around and infect your computer.

Upon infection, Paradise’s software connects the victim’s computer to Paradise’s command center where the actual ransomware program is executed. Everything on the PC is encrypted and a large sum of cryptocurrency is called for to liberate the computer.

Attempts to understand the attack better by using the “chat support” option offered on locked PCs were futile, with no responses awarded to inquiring hands. All that is known is that Paradise’s attacks are commanded to abort installation when the victim PC is running on languages such as Russian, Ukranian, Kazakh, or Tatar.

The best way to avoid giving in to cybercriminals’ demands is to regularly backup any and all important files. Keeping offline system backups allows a reliable fall-back option if push comes to shove. To keep proactive systems should keep due diligence to apply up to date security patches as soon as they become available. Avoiding the possibility of vulnerabilities in software is a sure way to behave proactively and avoid falling to scams plaguing the internet this decade.

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