Cybersecurity Blog

Ransomware Alert – Do not install a Chrome font pack! – 02/02/17


There is a new ransomware scam.  So new that antivirus software isn’t aware of it yet and therefore can’t detect it. Chrome for windows users that visit compromised websites are suddenly finding the text on the page becomes unreadable. An alert appears explaining that their browser doesn’t have the font needed to display the page properly and instructs them to install a font pack.  To add to the fun, they are unable to close the alert using the “x” button and they cannot close the browser.  If you choose to download and install the so called font pack, you are able to read the text but ransomware is also being installed in the background. The nasty thing is so sneaky, you don’t even notice that something is awry…at least not at first.

Your first clue is your computer starts to run rather slowly. Then you see folders on your desktop grey out and you can’t open them. As the encryption starts to spread you loose access to your documents one by one.  Then the lovely ransom note appears. However by this time you no longer have access to any of your files.

If you find your folders are greying out or you are unable to open files, please disconnect from the network immediately and call the Service Desk.

This latest ransomware uses a common tactic for delivering malware, the fake alert window. If an alert of any type pops up when you visit a webpage, encouraging you to install something to fix the problem, close the browser immediately.  Do not click on anything in the alert window including the “x” as some diabolical hackers design their malware to install regardless of where you click. If you are unable to close the browser, reboot your machine. By following this simple no click rule, you will save yourself a whole lot of frustration and heartache.