Imagine you’re working away on your PC and see a Windows update prompt. Instead of ignoring it, you take action. After all, you want to keep your device safe. But when you install what you think is a legitimate update, you’re infected with ransomware.
That’s the nightmare caused by an emerging cyber security threat.
Cyber criminals are constantly devising new ways to infiltrate systems. They encrypt valuable data, leaving victims with difficult choices. Once ransomware infects your system, your PC is pretty useless. You either have to pay a ransom or get someone to remove the malware. As well as install a backup (if you have one!).
One such variant that has emerged recently is the “Big Head” ransomware. It adds a new layer of deception by disguising itself as a Windows update. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of Big Head ransomware. Including its deceptive tactics. We well as how you can protect yourself from falling victim to such attacks.
The Big Head Ransomware Deception
Ransomware attacks have long been infamous for their ability to encrypt files. This renders them inaccessible to the victim until a ransom is paid to the attacker. In the case of Big Head ransomware, the attackers have taken their tactics to the next level. The attack masquerades as a Windows update.
Big Head ransomware presents victims with a convincing and fake Windows update alert. Attackers design this fake alert to trick users. They think that their computer is undergoing a legitimate Windows update. The message may appear in a pop-up window or as a notification.
The deception goes even further. The ransomware uses a forged Microsoft digital signature. This makes the fake update appear more authentic. This adds an extra layer of credibility to the malicious message. And makes it even more challenging for users to discern its true nature.
The attack fools the victim into thinking it’s a legitimate Windows update. They then unknowingly download and execute the ransomware onto their system. From there, the ransomware proceeds to encrypt the victim’s files. Victims see a message demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Protect Yourself from Big Head Ransomware & Similar Threats
Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated. It’s not just the good guys exploring the uses of ChatGPT. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect your data and systems. Here are some strategies to safeguard yourself from ransomware attacks like Big Head.
Keep Software and Systems Updated
This one is tricky. Because updating your computer is a best practice for security. Yet, Big Head ransomware leverages the appearance of Windows updates.
One way to be sure you’re installing a real update is to automate. Automate your Windows updates through your device or an IT Support provider (like ourselves). This increases the chances of spotting a fake that pops up unexpectedly.
Verify the Authenticity of Update
Before installing any software update, verify its authenticity. Genuine Windows updates will come directly from Microsoft’s official website. Or through your IT service provider or Windows Update settings. Be cautious of unsolicited update notifications. Especially those received via email or from unfamiliar sources.
Backup Your Data
Use Robust Security Software
Educate Yourself and Others
Use Email Security Measures
Enable Firewall and Network Security
Activate your computer’s firewall. Use network security solutions to prevent unauthorized access to your network and devices.
Disable Auto-Run Features
Be Wary of Pop-Up Alerts
Keep an Eye on Your System
Keep an eye on your computer’s performance and any unusual activity. If you notice anything suspicious, investigate immediately. Suspicious PC activity can be:
- Unexpected system slowdown.
- File changes.
- Missing file or folders.
- Your PC’s processor “whirring” when you’re not doing anything.
Have a Response Plan
Need a Cybersecurity Audit?
Don’t leave unknown threats lurking in your system. A cybersecurity audit can shed light on your system vulnerabilities. It’s an important proactive measure to ensure network security.
Give us a call today to schedule a chat.