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Fake ‘Windows Update’ Installs Cyborg Ransomware

November 19, 2019 / Elizabeth Montalbano

A malicious spam campaign that informs victims it contains a “critical Windows update” instead leads to the installation of Cyborg ransomware, researchers have found. Further, they were able to access its builder, which can be used to create malware variants. The email-based threat, discovered recently by researchers at Trustwave, is unique in a few ways, researchers unveiled in a blog post on Tuesday. For instance, the attached file purports to be in .jpg format, even though it opens an .exe file. Another unique aspect is that the emails contain a two-sentence subject, “Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now! Critical Microsoft Windows Update!”— but it has just one sentence in its email body, researchers said. Typically, malicious emails include a longer, socially engineered message intended to lure victims into clicking malicious files.